Paolo On The Comeback Trail

Club Doctor Ges Steinbergs says that Paolo Di Canio is already on his way to a full recovery - fired up by the doubters who don't think he will come back as strong.

A Sunday newspaper article proposed the theory that, in the crude words of the piece, 'his legs are gone', but Ges says: "I have just come back to England after spending some days with him and the surgeons described his knee as being like that of a 20 year old - so the article is incorrect.

"As for the notion of him 'disappearing' - he was in the Madre Fortunata Toniolo hospital in Bologna where Professor Marcacci did the surgery and his rehab physician Dr. Gianni Nanni has been working with him. Now he is working at an isokinetic clinic, though he is still on crutches to keep the weight off his knee.

"That will be the case for some 10 days, to protect the lateral meniscus from any post operative damage, but he is trying to get the knee moving again and is very conscientiously following his instructions to the letter, doing six and a half hours a day rehab.

"It is a mixture of lots of treatments and exercises to get him back on track and, far from his career being over, the fact is this is not a serious injury.

"Paolo wants the West Ham fans to judge him, not a journalist.

"After all, they said after his last injury he wouldn't come back as strong following medial ligament damage, but you only have to look at the goal he scored against Chelsea when he flicked the ball up with one foot and scored with the other to see that was far from true.

"Paolo will be back as good as ever, don't worry about that."