Olsson recovery ahead of schedule
Martin Olsson hopes he may be able to return to full training with Swansea City before the end of the season as he makes good progress in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles.
The Sweden international suffered the injury in the early stages of the 3-2 win over Brentford at Griffin Park in December and he was subsequently ruled out for the season.
But he is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, and has been putting in plenty of work in the gym under the watchful eye of the Swans medical team.
And while it is too early to raise any hopes of a playing return this term, the left-back has set himself the aim of being back out on the grass training with the rest of the first-team squad before the 2018-19 campaign is over.
“The rehab is going well, we are ahead of schedule. We are working hard and the medical staff are doing a great job of getting me back to fitness,” he said.
“I just have to keep working hard, hopefully near the end of the season I am hoping to be able to be out on the pitch with the rest of the guys.
“That would be a good thing, and that is my goal to be out there before the end of the season.
“I hope I might be able to be back running in the middle of April, and I am feeling good.”
The injury was a cruel blow for the 30-year-old, who had helped Sweden reach the quarter-finals of last summer’s World Cup in Russia and it happened in innocuous fashion after he had played a pass infield during Swansea’s strong start against the Bees.
But he knew straight away how serious the problem was.
“I had just passed the ball, I took one step, planted my foot and heard a big bang,” he says.
“I initially thought someone had kicked the ball against the back of my Achilles, but there was no-one there and then the pain came and I knew what I had done.
“I knew right then it was going to be a long way back, and it was so frustrating as I felt I had been playing well for Swansea and Sweden, and we were playing good football.
“But I am determined to come back stronger, I just have to be positive.”
It is the third season in succession in which a Swans player has suffered a ruptured Achilles.
Nathan Dyer was hurt against Leicester in February 2017, with Leroy Fer doing the same against the same opposition 12 months later.
And Olsson revealed how his team-mates had played a big role in providing advice and support during his long lay-off.
“It’s been hard, it took 10 weeks before I could take the boot off and walk properly but Leroy and Nathan have been a big help and given me lots of advice in terms of what they went through,” he said.
“They have been a big support, they are always there and I know I can always talk to them.
“The big thing for me is you can see they have come back and they are able to play well, to be sharp on the pitch.
“It’s hard missing the games but I hope I can be training before the season ends.”