Wood Champing At The Bit
A cliché I know, but Calum Woods will almost act like a new signing for Simon Grayson this season as the Preston right back closes in on his first team return, having missed the whole of the last campaign.
Woods, who tore the cruciate and medial ligaments in his right knee last July in a pre-season friendly against Oldham, will be among those taking part when the players return for training.
Not always something the players look forward to but he is as this will be another step towards a playing return.
He told the Lancashire Evening Post: 'I`m champing at the bit to get back, I can`t wait to get down to business again. I`ve been on holiday with my family to Florida and in the last couple of days, I started to think about pre-season and couldn`t wait for it to come. On Thursday and Friday last week, I was back in at the training ground doing some work with Lewis Hiney who is one of the physios. I`ve actually been in quite a bit over the summer, just to keep ticking over and to work on strengthening my knee.'
The defender did join 'in with the lads for the last couple of sessions' towards the end of last season but now Woods, who understandably said that was a 'great feeling' after all the work he'd done in the gym, will be stepping up his training as he bids to return to Grayson's squad.
Adding his knee feels good: 'The knee feels fine now and it will be a case of keeping on top of it over the next few weeks and months, making sure I keep it strong. It was a bad injury, two of the ligaments were damaged and needed repairing.'
Having overcome the initial shock, which left him gutted, all Woods could do, when it was clear he WOULD recover from this, was keep his head down, work hard and look to that target of a playing returning.
'I was gutted when I learned the full extent of the injury. The surgeon told me I was going to miss a full season and that is never nice to hear. But once I got my head around it and knew I could make a full recovery, I just got on with it.'
Woods concluded: 'I`ve been back running for quite a while, a good few months, and then to get those couple of football sessions at the end was brilliant. The physios and fitness staff are brilliant here, Matt Jackson and Lewis Hiney have helped me so much.'
One of those to suffer a similar injury to Woods was forward Stevie May, the Scot made his playing return at the end of last season and will also further step up his first team bid this summer.