Date:Friday February 22 2008
Hearts sank back in September when Clarets fans heard the news that our defender Michael Duff had cruciate ligament damage following an injury in the match against Crystal Palace at Turf Moor.
There were suggestions he would be out for the rest of the season. However, a determined and positive Michael Duff was not going to sulk. Operations were scheduled but the second one was cancelled after some good news indicated that the ligament was beginning to heal.
Five months later, the 27-year-old Northern Ireland international however now looks close to making a first team return having made a remarkable recovery.
His captain,Steven Caldwell speaking to Radio Lancashire confirmed he was close to returning to the first team
'He's looking good in training and I'm sure after a couple of reserve games he will be vying for a place in the side.
'He's a very good friend of mine and I'm very pleased he's back and in the running for a first team spot soon.'
The positive attitude and determination from Duff in getting through this injury was also praised by Caldwell.
'The attitude of the guy from day one has been magnificent.
'He's knuckled down, he never looked negative and worked very hard.'
Caldwell continued: 'Everyone was gutted for Michael when it happened, he is an important member of the squad but I think in a way he's had his just rewards with the news that it wasn't as bad as first feared'.
There was an indication too last week that he could have been fit to play in last Friday's friendly against Bohemians in Ireland. He didn't however travel with the team due to family reasons with his wife expecting their first child anytime soon.
Good news for the Clarets indeed with Duff returning soon as we prepare for our final push for a play-offs place in the last third of the season.
This may cause a back four selection headache for Owen Coyle soon but one I am sure he will relish. There will soon be eight fit defenders competing for four places as discussed in our recent article 'Back Four Claret & Blues'.
So who would you pick from Alexander,Duff, Carlisle,Caldwell,Varga,Unsworth,Harley and Jordan?
Date:Friday February 22 2008
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