Defender Scott Wootton has been handed a big boost as he targets a return to action.
Wootton has been working tirelessly to recover from a long-term knee injury he suffered last August – and now there is real light at the end of the tunnel.
The 25-year-old received the all-clear from his surgeon during a visit to London with Head of Sports Medicine Simon Crampton on Wednesday.
“We were hoping it was going to be good news and I’m pleased to say it was,” Crampton told mkdons.com.
“There’s not one specific test Scott can undertake to determine whether he’s recovered and ready. We make this decision based on a it’s a battery of tests – just under 20 in total, ranging from various fitness markers, strength and range of movement test and functional measures which relate to different aspects of the game.
“We presented this data to Andy – the surgeon who performed the operation on Scott – who then did a full assessment of Scott. He is really happy with where Scott is, meaning we can now really start integrating him into training.
“He’s done a number of pre-season sessions so far and got through all these without any real problems, aside from the usual muscle soreness which is common at this stage of pre-season.”
“The next step now is to start building up his contact time. During the contact drills at the moment he’s a floater, which means he’ll play for both teams and not be involved in direct contact, but we’re going to build his contact time slowly over the next few weeks.
“All being well, we’re hoping, if he continues to progress, he’ll get some good minutes under his belt in the pre-season games.”
Crampton added: “From now on, it’s a case of monitoring him and how he responds to the demands of pre-season and the match loads.
“Of course, it’s still early days so if we’re not happy with something then we will act accordingly, we will continue to be careful and we don’t want to jeopardise the work he’s done so far.”
In terms of a more specific timescale, Crampton said: “We’re not going to play him in the games immediately. He needs to get at least three weeks training under his belt to complement all the work he has done in the off season.
“When we get to Hungary, we may look at him playing some part in the games, although this will be dependent on several factors.
“When we come to the bigger games in England, we’re hoping he’ll get some minutes there too, with the aim that when the league fixtures come around that he won’t be far off 100 percent.”
An update on Chuks Aneke will also be provided in the coming days.