Date:Friday March 6 2009
Full back Marcos Painter is hoping he can make an early return from his injury to feature in Swansea's play-off race this season.
The defender has been sidelined since the end of October when he suffered a crucial ligament injury during our 3-0 home win against Southampton.
It looked unlikely that he would return this year, and joined Ferrie Bodde on the list of players who ended their season because of injury.
Painter will visit surgeon Jonathan Webb on Monday when he'll know whether or not he has a chance of playing before the season ends.
Painter told the Evening Post:
'I am going to have a strength test to see if all my muscles are at an equal level,'
'Hopefully he will give me the go-ahead to push on in training. I've been doing a lot of leg strengthening and fitness sessions in the gym to get up to the levels I need to be at before I step things up.
'I am doing sessions that relate with the group but on a one-to-one basis. I have done some ball work - it's the first time I've kicked a ball since October - which has been great. I think I'm past the hard part now. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.'
Some people doubted Alan Tate could come in and do a good solid job in Painter's absence, but the former Manchester United trainee has looked solid in a position he's never played in before.
It's difficult to adjust for a right-sided player to play on the left but Tate has adjusted brilliantly to the new role.
Painter admits even if he does return, he might not be able to get his place back:
'That is another reason why I am not expecting to play this season,'
'Tatey has been brilliant. At the time everyone was panicking a bit because Stephen O'Halloran had the same injury as me and then Fede picked up a hamstring injury. It is good to see the position being filled within the squad, rather than getting someone in.
'If I do manage to get on the bench and get 10 or 15 minutes towards the end of the season then that would be reward for all the hard work I've put in. It would be a real bonus.'
Meanwhile, Ferrie Bodde is recovering well and while he has his sights set on returning ready for pre-season, we can't completely rule him out of featuring on the bench in May. Unlikely but it's not impossible at this stage.
Date:Friday March 6 2009
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