Callum making good progress
Callum McNaughton has made a big breakthrough in his recovery this week by starting running again and the centre-back is determined to show his worth when he returns.
The 20-year-old defender, who suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage to his knee during a development game against Wycombe Wanderers at the end of March, has stepped up his training and is bang on schedule to return within the six-month target set by club physio Mike Rayner.
Speaking to the official website at AFC Wimbledon's new kit launch on Wednesday, Callum said: "I have been in the gym pretty much since I had the operation, so for me to now start running is a massive step. I can do all the work in the gym now and I am increasing the running. I have a programme to follow and it is now a case of building my fitness up and getting stronger. It was obviously a big blow, as you can imagine, when I suffered the injury, but you always have to stay positive. There have been days when it has dragged, but you have to be disciplined and patient. My recovery has gone well and I am on track to be back in six months from when I had the operation."
Callum, who joined the Dons permanently in January after impressing during an initial loan spell from West Ham, is eager to show everyone just why manager Terry Brown signed him when he returns.
"I have loved my time at Wimbledon so far and I have always given 100 per cent," he added. "There are no negatives in my mind and I just want to come back and repay the faith that everyone at the club has shown in me. I left West Ham and they are in the Premier League now, but I was playing reserve team football there so joining Wimbledon was a step-up for me. I have never looked at it as being a step down. I have to stay on track and take every chance that I get when I return. I love playing football, it is my passion, and to be at Wimbledon, a club with such great support, is a big opportunity for me."
Callum may have left West Ham behind, but his friend George Moncur, who created such a favourable impression during a loan spell here last season, is highly rated at Upton Park. Callum believes that his former team-mate has what it takes to make it at the top level. "I still talk to George from time to time," said Callum. "He has not yet turned 20 yet and you can see that he is a really good, natural footballer. George has a really good attitude as well and there is no reason why he cannot make it."