McCarthy: Smile Back on Luke's Face
Friday, 17th Feb 2017 08:41
Blues manager Mick McCarthy says midfielder Luke Hyam is smiling again after finally making his return to action during Monday’s 0-0 U23s draw at West Brom, having been sidelined since pre-season with a knee injury. Tommy Smith also featured in the game against the Baggies as he continued his recovery from the back operation he underwent in September.
Hyam, 26, who eventually required surgery on nerve damage having missed much of the previous campaign with an unrelated knee problem, played 65 minutes at the Hawthorns.
“He came through it fine, he’s got a big smile on his face, it’s lovely to see,” McCarthy said. “He’d been pretty down about it, I would say.
“He’d had so long out from what had seemed like an innocuous knock against Cambridge in a pre-season friendly and we’re here in February and he’s still not played a first-team game. In fact he’s only had that one U23s game.
“It’s incredible how that has happened. It was just one of those injuries. I understood him being down but having him back is great and he’s trained today, and he looks the part, so whether he needs another game or not [I’m not sure], he’s a fit lad. But I don’t think he would be ready to start a game.”
McCarthy says Smith will be in the squad for tomorrow’s game at home to Leeds, although like Hyam the central defender isn’t ready to start.
“He’s had two U23s games and he’s come through them all right,” the Town boss added. “Whether he’s absolutely 100 per cent to play in the Championship is another matter. But he’s injury free. We’ve missed Tommy at times, he’s a really good defender.”
Available for the senior squad for the first time since joining the club is winger Danny Rowe.
The 24-year-old made an impressive first appearance in a Town shirt for the U23s in the recent 8-0 thrashing of Watford but made way at half-time with a groin injury which kept him out of training until yesterday.
McCarthy would be delighted if Rowe emulates the success of another winger he signed from non-league, Michael Kightly who he took from Grays Athletic when Wolves boss.
“Oh, I hope so, I really hope so,” he said. “Anybody who comes out of non-league and is as good as Michael Kightly, that would be a success story for all of us.”
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