Viduka finally back in training | inside World Soccer

Viduka finally back in training

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Newcastle striker Mark Viduka has made his long awaited return to training as he recovers from an achilles injury which threatened his career.

The 33-year-old made just 19 Premier League appearances last season after his move from North East rivals Middlesbrough.

Viduka, who has been sidelined for five months, flew back to Australia last month for a scan on the injury and was relieved to receive the all-clear.

Assistant manager Chris Hughton said: "It is a great boost. This was his first day training and it was good to see him back.

"He is mentally ready. With all injuries, there is fear in players' minds of 'will I break down', but he is ready.

"Players know they will get stronger but during the period when they are trying to get stronger, they also have to push harder, which can put real pressure on an injury. It's always a big sigh of relief if you don't break down, so we all hope he doesn't.

"We will have to gauge how much work he does on it but we hope that will be him with us now for the rest of the season.

"He will take a while to get back in to the team and in the right shape to play. He has been out a long time and it is a really delicate area and delicate injury.

"The rehab has gone well, though. He has not broken down during training or in his rehab.

"We have to make sure the work he does, does not bring a negative reaction. We have to increase the volume of training as time goes on and then we can expect to see him involved in matches again."

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