Jack Butland is on his way back to the football pitch. He’s just been given the green light by his specialist to get back on the training pitch and resume his career at long, long last after nearly 12 months out.
However, he tweeted the following this afternoon and understandably can’t contain his excitement. According to The Sentinel where he added that: “Surgeon couldn’t be happier with my ankle, fracture completely healed and free to progress! Best early birthday present ever.”
Butland has been sidelined since breaking his ankle playing for England against Germany in Berlin last March.
Crucially, it has since transpired, a hairline fracture wasn’t spotted at the time and so he was only treated for the break that was picked up by scans and X-rays.
That left him returning to action in pre-season, blissfully unaware of the problems to follow.
Moreso, he pulled up lame in training on the day before the first game of the season at Middlesbrough and was then plunged into a series of false dawns.
As late as November he was talking about his impending comeback and was named in an under-23 team to play at Reading.
But he pulled out just before kick-off after complaining of further pain in the wretched ankle and was sent away for yet more tests.
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This time the hairline fracture was spotted and acted upon to put him, finally, on course for a genuine comeback.
His only problem now is to prove in training and under-23 games that he is worth his place back from the impressive Lee Grant.
Stoke’s next under-23 fixture is at West Ham tomorrow night and then at home to Norwich on Saturday.