Millwall midfielder steps up recovery – as Aiden O’Brien returns to training ahead of Reading

RYAN Leonard has stepped up his recovery as he aims for a competitive return – but Millwall boss Gary Rowett will not rush the midfielder back into action.

Leonard has been out since October after injuring his knee against Leeds. He was expected to be back for the Christmas period before he suffered a setback.

Rowett is currently also without midfielders Shaun Williams and Ben Thompson, but he will take no risks with Leonard.

“He’s been out running, working outside with the sports science team,” Rowett said. “We’re going to hold him back a tiny bit just because of the fact that he relapsed with something related to his previous injury.

“He’s now been out for quite a substantial amount of time. The [fitness] guys are thinking maybe this week and next week in terms of out on the grass with them to start to ramp it up.

“He’s at about 85 per cent and it’s always the same thing with a hamstring-stroke-knee injury that when you start to get to 90, 95 per cent that’s when you stress it. You don’t want to do that too early.

“I don’t think there’s a massive rush. Of course we’d like him back at the moment, but what’s more important is that when he comes back he stays back.”

Meanwhile, Aiden O’Brien trained on Monday after missing the 0-0 draw at Stoke on Saturday with an ankle problem.

Rowett said: “There was a bit of swelling there, but he came in [Monday] and felt okay. He gave it a go and got through training okay so he should train [Tuesday].”

Image: Millwall FC 

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