Steve Cooper targets long run of games for "fit and strong" Joe Rodon
Steve Cooper hopes Joe Rodon’s injury misfortunes are behind him and the Swansea City defender can get a long run of games under his belt to further his development.
Rodon made his first Championship start since March in last weekend’s win over Preston, after missing the resumption of last season with a quad strain.
The 22-year-old has impressed since being given his Swans debut under Graham Potter in August 2018, but he has been unlucky with injuries that have seen him sidelined for spells of each of the previous two campaigns.
The Wales international suffered a broken metatarsal in January 2019 that kept him out until the April of that year, while an ankle tendon injury curtailed a strong start to his 2019-20 campaign.
But Rodon underlined his quality by being part of a solid defensive showing at Deepdale and, with the first home game of the season against Birmingham looming on the horizon, Cooper hopes a long run of starts lies ahead for the centre-back.
“In terms of fitness levels, Joe is the same as everyone else,” said Cooper.
“He was fit when we came back for pre-season, so fitness-wise he has done the same as everyone else. It’s a case of so far, so good.
“He has been able to build fitness and get back into the rhythm of training and games.
“He is a young player and for his progression he needs a real long spell in the team, playing every game so he can kick on and fulfill the potential he has.
“He is not an older player that needs managing with rest, or a player coming back from a serious injury.
“He has just been unlucky with injuries, but they have healed and he feels fitter and stronger than ever.
“He just needs a bit of luck, as the injuries he has had have been contact injuries and bad luck. If he can have a long spell in the side, we will all benefit.”