Woods on way back to fitness

ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: Michael Woods. Picture by FRANK REID

ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: Michael Woods. Picture by FRANK REID

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INJURED Michael Woods is targeting a return in pre-season after starting his rehabilitation work at Hartlepool United’s training ground.

Ronnie Moore said his return to Maiden Castle is a welcome boost to the player and squad after his season-ending injury in the 1-0 win over Wimbledon at the end of last month.

His target now is to get back for pre-season and if he does that then we will have a good squad.

Ronnie Moore

The in-form 24-year-old’s season was ended early after suffering a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula.

The former Chelsea and Leeds United youth had to undergo surgery to repair the damage but he has now had the plaster cast removed.

Woods, who is wearing a moon boot for at least the next fortnight, was at the club’s Durham-based training ground yesterday to start the first steps of his rehab with a view to him returning in time for pre-season training.

He had been the star performer for Pools before the gruesome injury against the Dons.

“It is great for Woodsy to be back [at the training ground],” Moore told SportMail.

“It was a massive disappointment when he got injured because he was playing so well but then it gave Nicky Featherstone the opportunity to come in.

“Woodsy was our top player but then Nicky has come in and become our top player.

“The biggest compliment we can pay to Nicky is that we haven’t missed Woodsy.

“His target now is to get back for pre-season and if he does that then we will have a good squad,” added Moore.

Woods’ rehab will involved gentle strengthening exercises to start with, working closely with head physio Ian Gallagher.

And he is trying to remain positive - with results on the pitch boosting his morale.

“I have to try and stay as positive as possible now,” said Woods. “I am not going to be going away in the summer – I know I will be in working with Buster and the medical staff and trying to get back as soon as possible.

“Hopefully the more I put in the quicker I will get back and I am looking forward to the rehab in a way.

“I am hopeful the waiting game is out of the way now and I can really start to push on with the work,” said Woods, who was speaking to the club’s website.

He added: “I felt like we were building some momentum at the time I was injured so I am really pleased that the lads have carried that through.”