United boss Keith Curle confirmed today that midfielder Jason Kennedy is chomping at the bit as he works hard to make a return to first team action following an injury setback just days before the new season kicked off.
“Jason joined in with training on Tuesday as well as doing his own thing for his rehab on Wednesday,” he said. “It’s good to see him back out there with a smile on his face because he’s just been through a horrible period. He’s worked hard to get to where he is now because he knows he needs to be able to train at the right tempo or he won’t be allowed to fit back in.
“He’s been through our ‘return to training’ protocol with Dolly and Lee Fearn because I need him to be firing on all cylinders. Everything from sprinting, distance covered, load capacity, acceleration, deceleration and heart rate has been recorded and monitored to make sure he’s where we need him to be.
“That happens with every injured player because we need as many people available as possible for the maximum amount of time. We can’t gamble on rushing things, because ultimately we all lose out, so we measure their progress as much as we can to give us the best chance possible of getting the timing of their return right.”
“With what Jason as been through we need to see if there’s any reaction to the additional workload he’s had this week,” he continued. “In the ideal world we’ll be giving him another three or four days of catch up work with a view to him being involved for Sunderland.
Knowing him as I do I know he’ll be badgering Dolly to make him available even sooner, if possible ...
“Knowing him as I do I know he’ll be badgering Dolly to make him available even sooner, if possible. The pleasing thing is that Dolly won’t give me the recommendation unless he’s certain the player is as ready as he can be.”
“Samir Nabi and Kelvin Etuhu are both very close as well,” he commented. “Samir is doing more every day and Kelvin has had two scans which identified the healing process on his hamstring and a bit of scar tissue as well.
“A programme is in place for both of them and they’ll continue to follow that until such time as Dolly tells us we can step up another level, and then another level after that.”
One other recent injury scare came when Tom Parkes limped from the field in the second half of the opening game against Swindon Town, only to then make an immediate return for the away games against Fleetwood and Cambridge.
“Tom has a plate in his ankle and I think the shock came when he landed on it when he jumped to challenge for a ball,” he explained. “It’s something that’s happened to him before but he was able to get it settled quickly this time round.
“He’s come to this club on a challenge from me to fulfil his potential because I don’t think he’s quite done that yet. He worked hard to get his place in the team and I don’t think he’s going to give that up easily. That’s why he followed the medical advice to the letter so that he could make himself available for last week’s games.”
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