Tuesday, November 2, 2010

David Meyler returns ahead of schedule

Ireland international David Meyler makes an ‘ahead of schedule’ return to competitive action when he gets a first real run-out for Sunderland Reserves tonight.

The Cork born Under 21 international has been sidelined since May when he ruptured knee ligaments in Sunderland's last home game of the season against Manchester United.

The very promising Irish midfielder twisted studs in the turf and damaged ligaments so badly that it was thought at one point, that the whole of this season could be spent recovering from the serious injury .

However, the earliest it was realistically thought he could be back playing football was the end of December, but he has astonished medical staff with the speed of his recovery, and after successfully coming through a behind-closed-doors game last week, is due to face Liverpool's second string

Meyler, 20, who was signed by Steve Bruce's predecessor Roy Keane from Cork City in 2008, started seven games for Sunderland last season prior to the injury, making his debut at the end of December.

He immediately caught the eye of manager Steve Bruce for his huge work rate during games. The Black Cats boss admitted he was stunned when the ProZone stats showed the volume of ground being covered by Meyler during a game, even surpassing that of Premiership marathon man, Cesc Fabregas. Bruce Said: “The lad’s miles above everyone else. He got through 13-and-a-half kilometres against City, which is phenomenal”.

The timing of Meyler’s injury could also not have been worse for the young player, as he had just been selected by Giovanni Trapattoni to take part in a senior Ireland training camp, which was due to take place the week after he sustained the ligament injury in May.

Sunderland will be keen not rush Meyler back too early, but the likelihood is, he will be back challenging for a Sunderland place after Christmas. He will also be keeping a close eye on his Ireland international chances, with a fit Meyler likely to be pushing for a squad place in the upcoming Carling Nation’s Cup competition, which starts in February against Wales in Dublin.