No Injury Worries

The players have not suffered any of the normal strains and minor injuries so often associated with the early stages of pre-season training, says physio Andy Walker.

"It is a fully-fit squad, which is nice, and all the young lads have reported back today as well," he says.

"Everyone has come through the first two weeks of pre-season without a problem and the squad is looking good at the moment - no one has missed a session for anything, which is good news."

The players effectively only had June off, and they continued to do light work on their own that month anyway, and Andy says that could be a blessing.

"It has been a short break anyway with us going to Cardiff - usually they would get a little bit longer - and it means they haven't lost loads of fitness," he explains.

"It means we can start doing a lot more ball work and five a side games earlier, and they are doing a lot of that stuff at the moment with Tony Strudwick, Peter Grant, and Alan.

"John Green and I have been incorporated into the sessions in terms of the weights and the players have responded really well - hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the first few weeks of the season."

Andy has stayed behind to supervise the rehabilitation of Richard Garcia, on the long term injured list, while John Green is on duty in Sweden where the players are preparing for the first match of the short tour there.

"I am working with Richard, who has done an extra week, and he is actually doing running, twisting, and turning now," says Andy.

"He is ahead of schedule; with this being his second cruciate op we were looking at 12 months but at the moment we are looking at maybe him being back in September, which is good news.

"He is joining in a little bit with the football sessions, and we are just monitoring what he can and can't do at the moment.

"He is back into things, doing really well, and has done all his work in the gym; he has not had a reaction and hopefully that will continue."

There has only been one other player requiring treatment in an otherwise quiet physios' room, and Andy says:

"One of the young lads, Darren Blewitt, just hyper-extended his knee in training and was out for two or three days, but apart from that everyone else is fine and has travelled to Sweden."