Everton midfielder Tim Cahill won’t rush his return from a broken foot because the Australian wants to make an immediate impact for club and country.
Cahill, 28, has been sidelined since March and Everton manager David Moyes would love to have him back in action to boost his injury-hit team.
But both player and manager know there is no point in putting risking the Sydney-born star’s long-term fitness by coming back too soon, especially since Cahill believes he can hit the ground running when he does return.
“I’m taking it steady and leaving nothing to chance,” Cahill said. “But I’m getting closer every day. When I get the go ahead, I guarantee I’ll be back in great shape and hopefully in a position to make an immediate impact for both Everton and Australia.
“The longer you are out, the more you appreciate what it means to play at the top level and there’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be back bigger and better than ever. The operation went well but the rehabilitation has taken a little longer than I’d have liked.
“I’d planned to be back for the start of the Premier League season but it wasn’t to be. There’s no way I’ll be rushing back before I’m ready – that would be no good for myself, Everton or Australia.”
Cahill has been trying to stay positive since the new Premier League season started last weekend, even though he can’t stand watching matches that he should be playing in.
“It’s been hard missing out on a lot of football but I am thankful for what I’ve already achieved in my career and I have a very supportive family and a great medical team behind me,” he said.
“I don’t particularly enjoy watching football and when you’re injured you don’t really feel a part of things. But I’ve always been a positive person.
“When I was a youngster in Australia people didn’t really rate me but I never took no for an answer and I’ve always liked to prove people wrong.”
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