Louis-Jean sets sights on comeback

PUBLISHED: 14:11 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 14 September 2010

City defender Matthieu Louis-Jean today said he was determined to be ready for the start of pre-season training - after giving his fitness battle priority over an exotic summer holiday.

City defender Matthieu Louis-Jean today said he was determined to be ready for the start of pre-season training - after giving his fitness battle priority over an exotic summer holiday.

The French right-back played just two matches for the Canaries last season after tearing his hamstring early in the campaign.

But while most of his City team-mates have able to travel to foreign climes for a break during the close season, 30-year-old Louis-Jean has been hard at work on the training ground at Colney in an attempt to be fit for the start of the 2006-07 programme.

He is now well on the way to making a full recovery, after countless hours in the physio's room and in training.

“It's getting better and my main aim is to be ready for pre-season and hopefully I'm on course for that,” said Louis-Jean.

City physio Neal Reynolds paid tribute to Louis-Jean's dedication to get fit during the summer break.

“He's been in for most of the summer and won't get much of a break,” he said. “He's worked extremely hard.

“It's very frustrating when someone is out for that length of time. He's put in a lot of hours and a lot of work to get fit again.”

A trip to a specialist next week will reveal how far away Louis-Jean is from a return to action.

“We saw a physician two months ago and it's been slow but steady progress,” said Reynolds.

“We will see the physician again next week, who will test him and see how his strength is coming on.”

Louis-Jean arrived at Carrow Road last summer after six years at Nottingham Forest in a swap deal that took Scotland international midfielder Gary Holt in the opposite direction.

But he played only the first two Coca-Cola Championship games against Coventry and Crewe before he was injured - then tore his hamstring in training before he could get back into the side.

He was on crutches for three weeks after the accident and missed the rest of the season, describing it as “my worst time in football”.

But he told CanariesWorld he had made good progress since the turn of the year and was not far away from being available for action again.

“I need to keep working throughout the close season to keep up the strength in my legs and the best place to do that is at Colney,” said Louis-Jean.

“I'm doing everything now - I can kick the ball, I can run. I just need my strength to be good enough, that's the main thing.”

The right-back berth proved a problem for manager Nigel Worthington last season with no fewer than six players used in that position after the summer departures of Marc Edworthy and Thomas Helveg.

It's a problem Louis-Jean will be hoping to solve, albeit 12 months later than planned.

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