Spillane won't rush return to action
David Cuffley Michael Spillane is eager to force his way back into the Norwich City first team reckoning - but equally determined not to take a gamble after a long-running fitness battle. The 20-year-old defender has missed 19 matches in all competitions since suffering a hamstring injury in the 5-1 victory over Bristol Rovers at Carrow Road more than three months ago.
Luckless Michael Spillane is eager to force his way back into the Norwich City first team reckoning - but equally determined not to take a gamble after a long-running fitness battle.
The 20-year-old defender has missed 19 matches in all competitions since suffering a hamstring injury in the 5-1 victory over Bristol Rovers at Carrow Road more than three months ago.
The setback came at a cruel time for Spillane, who had featured in 11 of City's first 14 games of the season and, playing at right-back, had just scored a splendid first goal for the club in the 4-0 home win over Leyton Orient.
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Now, after 14 frustrating weeks on the sidelines, working hard at his recovery, he is close to joining in full training at Colney but wants to be certain he is ready.
He said: "It's up to the physio and the gaffer but I want to get back in the first team squad pretty soon. I will probably need one or two reserve games but I want to be back as soon as possible.
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"I have been doing everything, really - sprinting, kicking - and just need maybe another two weeks to make sure.
"It was quite a bad injury. I knew that from the way it hurt when it went, but I'm the sort of person who thinks I'll be back in two weeks or three weeks.
"But it was worse than that and when I tried to come back I did it again. This time I've got to be really careful I don't snap it again."
Spillane, who signed a new two-year contract with the Canaries after a season on loan at Luton Town, had quickly pushed his way into the first team picture and was in at the start of the successful run under Paul Lambert that has taken them to second place in League One.
He is delighted that his team-mates have carried all before them in a run of just one defeat in 18 games, but admits he is not a great spectator.
"It's terrible. I think about it every day and every time there's a game it's horrible watching when you're used to playing," he said.
"I've seen the home games but the worst thing is Saturday afternoon when you're listening to it all, wishing you were playing, but it's all to do with being a footballer and I've just got to get on with it."
Severe winter weather and hard grounds have not helped Spillane's recovery programme but he can hardly wait to rejoin the squad.
"The lads are doing really, really well and it's a hard team to get back into but I'm looking forward to it," he said.