Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shane Duffy back in training with Everton after horrific injury

Ireland u21 international Shane Duffy has made an astonishing return to training with Everton this week, less than two months after his life-saving operation in Dublin's Mater Hospital.

The courageous 18 year-old Derry man has made a miraculous comeback from an injury that almost cost him his life after suffering a laceration to his liver during a training game with the Irish Amateur side on this day two months ago when representing the Ireland senior international side in Malahide.

And having amazed medical staff at the Mater Hospital and, indeed, at Goodison Park, the Glendale Park lad said he was 'happy' with the rapid progress of his recovery.

While his teammates have jetted off on a pre-season tour to Australia, the talented 6' 4'' central defender returned to light training this week under the close supervision of the Everton medical staff in Liverpool and he is now looking forward to a quick-fire return to competitive action.

In fact, Duffy is expected to make a full recovery from his horrific injury and will be allowed to resume full-time training over the next four to six weeks.

Already this week he has been back running, having completed a nine mile jog on Monday before taking part in light cardio sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday as he concentrates on regaining fitness before working on the psychological and physical aspects of his rehabilitation.

While Duffy had enjoyed a relaxing time at home with his family over the last two months, taking in plenty of football with the World Cup on television and making an appearance at the Brandywell Stadium for the Derry City FAI Cup defeat against Shamrock Rovers, he admitted he was 'getting bored' and was growing impatient for a return to action.

"I'm just happy to be back training again," said Shane yesterday. "It was nice to get a rest and watch the World Cup Finals in South Africa on television and take in some local football while I was back in Derry. It was nice for a while, but I was really getting really bored to be honest.

"But time seems to have flown since I returned to Liverpool. I've been back since Wednesday last week and I'm enjoying training again," he added.

The former Foyle Harps player has eased himself back to training and while he initially found it difficult, he now holds the view that he will join up with his Everton Reserves teammates for competitive football as early as next month before securing a possible loan move to a Championship club to continue his professional development.

"I went on a long run on Monday which I found hard enough and I'm doing sprints now which is good. I'm well rested and feeling much better. The medical staff here at Everton say I'll could be back in training in the next four to six weeks.

"I won't be back in full training for another few weeks yet, I'm just concentrating on getting my fitness back at the minute, that's my first aim. I'll then start looking at playing a couple of matches with the Reserves and maybe then get a loan move for the rest of the season, so we'll see how things go. That's what I'm hoping for now anyway," he declared.

While Duffy, who was named Everton Reserves' 'Player of the Season' will be allowed to resume ball work over the coming weeks, 'Toffees' staff won't be in a major rush to get him back to competitive action.

Everton visit the Sligo Showgrounds on Sunday, August 8th, as part of the deal which took Killybegs native and Duffy's close friend, Seamus Coleman, to Merseyside early last year and the Derry teenager is hoping to be included in the Everton squad which will travel to that game.

Reminiscing on that dramatic week back in May when he lost around two thirds of his blood supply after rupturing an artery, Duffy is thankful to be alive and insists he is forever indebted to the Republic of Ireland's team doctor, Gerry McEntee and the medical staff in the High Dependency Unit at the Mater Hospital who acted swiftly to save his life.

"It was a crazy time, a crazy week," he recalled. "I'm just grateful to everyone in the (Mater) hospital for everything they did for me," he concluded.

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