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Defender sets sights on return after lengthy lay-off

Luke O’Neill in upbeat mood after stepping up his recovery

8 January 2021

Luke O’Neill is closing in on a return to match action after two-and-a-half months out through injury.

The experienced defender ruptured his ankle during the victory versus Blackpool in late October, but he has made significant progress in recent weeks, stepping up his recovery by doing work with the ball in training.

“I feel really good,” said Luke. “I have had a bit of time off now and it was a bit of a nightmare to start with because of the Covid outbreak, which set me back, but I am ahead of schedule and I can’t wait to return. Hopefully, I will be back in a couple of weeks’ time for the Crewe game or Portsmouth.

“I did it in the Blackpool match, my ankle just turned awkwardly. I didn’t think it was as bad at the time as it turned out. I had ruptured the front ligament in my ankle, but I feel strong now and ready to get back training with the boys. I was gutted when I found out how long I would be out for. I am a player who loves playing games, I was disappointed, but I am quite positive and I just got on with it. I am experienced enough to handle it and I’ve got a good family as well. They were good supporting me, and I have been looking forward.”

Luke added that staying involved with the squad and coaching staff kept his spirits high during a difficult time – and he can’t wait for a chance to play at Plough Lane for the first time.

“It’s really tough mentally when you are out, but the boys here and the gaffer have been brilliant with me, and the medical team too,” said Luke. "Paul Osew has been working with me too, so hopefully we will be out there together sometime soon.

"I didn’t really want to be away from it too much, so I have been going to all the home games. I have been in there with the boys and the staff, trying to stay involved. I can’t wait to play my part. The first time we went to Plough Lane I trained, but then we had the Blackpool game when I got injured, and then we were going into the new stadium for the first game, so I missed out. It was a hard time, but I’m more motivated than ever to get out there and play.”

Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell’s full interview with Luke.

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