For Kane Ritchie-Hosler and Matty Todd an international break has recently meant time off in England and Holland but they were both back on the pitch at the KDM Group East End Park yesterday. Although it was just for the team photocall, it was great to see them in the 30 player picture and James McPake gave a run down on his longer termed injured.
“Matty is hopping so that’s a real step forward. He can now fully weight bear and hop on his injured ankle. I’m expecting Matty to be back on the grass this week, not training but running. We have seen how quick Kane Ritchie-Hosler was back from there when that happened. It will be a couple of weeks before he is back in full training. He will have his eye on a comeback in a reserve game.
“Then it will be November time for Kane. He had some time back home and he is in good spirits. It takes time to get over it, particularly back to back injuries. The positive in that is that he has had more time for the ankle to recover. He had surgery two days in a row, he had his knee operated on the Wednesday and then the screws taken out of his ankle on the Thursday. That’s great timing actually because, at some point, we would have had to have found a ten day break somewhere to have these taken out because they would have been uncomfortable for him.
“When we got him back fit, coming on against Inverness he would probably have been starting by now and then all of a sudden his ankle would have been annoying him and we would have had to find a wee window. So that’s done and touchwood the boy gets the luck he deserves when he is back from the knee injury.”
“It was a minor meniscus op on his knee. He actually walked out of one hospital, went home and walked into another hospital the next day having had surgery. No crutches and he walked back out that night with the screws out of his ankle.
James is confident that Kane will return even better than he did in September:-
“Mentally I think this can take Kane to a different level. We know he can run, we know he can take players on, he can dig in, he can get about the pitch but he knows how far he can take his body now as well. He can go through the pain of injuries and rehabs back to back. He will come back mentally flying from this in the right headspace to go and take on the rest of the season.”
Drawing from his own injury experiences at Dundee, time to properly recover from injuries is something that James fully understands:-
“I can remember the physios Michael McBride and Gerry Docherty giving me time. I have been injured that much that I think I’ve been on holiday every month of the year! It’s great to get some sun on your back in November and January. Great for your wife, your partner, your kids but really deep down you want to be playing football. It does help just to break the monotony. You work so hard in the gym and it’s long days, as it should be. You can only do so much and you need that time to just get away.”
Kane Ritchie-Hosler went home to Stockport, Matty Todd went on a city break and the manager compared that with the time off afforded to Kevin O’Hara last season when he went to Tenerife during his time out.
“Ultimately you run it past the medical staff but they say the same when it comes to things like that. That’s talking about care of players, they are just in a down week of low level rehab. Going away can break it up a bit and benefit from it.”
Neither Matty or Kane will be ready for the Ayr United match a week on Saturday but the two weeks without a match has meant they have missed less than they expected. The positive news for the next game is that in addition to those who played against Partick Thistle, the manager is likely to have Deniz Mehmet, Kyle Benedictus, Rhys Breen, Paul Allan and Ben Summers all available to him.