Stephen Hunt will finally return to action when he plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers in their reserve-team game against Wigan next Tuesday. Hunt has been out of action since Mick McCarthy signed him from Hull in June.
The Wolves manager knew the midfielder would be unavailable until October because of foot surgery on an injury he sustained in January while playing for Hull against Wolves.
"The surgeon was pretty much spot-on with his prediction of how long I was going to be out for," Hunt said yesterday. "No matter how you try to speed things up, it was obviously going to heal in its own time. And you tend to get little niggles in the rest of your body when you have been out for so long, so it's just a matter of getting rid of all of them and getting over it. It's been frustrating because you want to be involved but I knew that I couldn't be and in a strange way, because of that, it still feels like I'm a Hull player as I haven't been on the pitch yet for Wolves.
"But once I've got two or three games under my belt I know I'll begin to feel a bit more settled and will be able to get used to the surroundings at Molineux. The medical staff here have been spot-on with everything I need in terms of treatment and rehab – they have been top quality and I think they are among the best in England with their set-up."
Despite his lack of action for his new club, Hunt has tried to fit in as much as he can by involving himself in the dressing-room spirit and watching as many games as possible.
"I think that it's about being yourself as you get to know the lads and get to know their games and what their strengths are," added the Irish international. "Some players hate to watch a game if they are not in the team but I'm the opposite – the more football I can watch the better. It allows me to focus on the way people play so that when you play with them or against them you know what they are going to do and, hopefully, you are one step ahead.
"I've trained every day this week. I've had a few niggles, a few aches and pains, but nothing serious and when I have built up my full body strength, then hopefully they will have disappeared. The foot feels great now – probably better than before I got the injury. So it's about building up my speed and I will be doing that in training and in the reserves."
Meanwhile, James Morrison has labelled new West Bromwich Albion team-mate Paul Scharner "Mr Moanivator" but is full of compliments for the impact the former Wigan midfielder has made at the Hawthorns.
The Baggies are unbeaten since Scharner joined on transfer deadline day, with Morrison playing alongside him since returning from a three-match ban almost two weeks ago.
Morrison, currently on international duty with Scotland in the Czech Republic, revealed the Austrian had made his presence felt both on and off the pitch. "He's a bit of a weirdo," Morrison joked. "He has come in and done well as we've got results. I think his experience helps. He does love a moan and he gets on people's nerves for moaning. But he has lots of experience and you can't take that away from him."
Morrison earned an instant recall to Roberto Di Matteo's starting XI following his suspension for a red card at Liverpool. But he knows he cannot take his place for granted, given the midfield options now available to the Baggies manager. "It is pretty intense so you've got to be on your game," Morrison said.
At Manchester United, Federico Macheda has moved to clarify comments he made about team-mate Wayne Rooney. Macheda used the term "coatto" to describe the England striker in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport while on Italy under-21 duty.
"Coatto" has been interpreted in various ways with some of the British newspapers using "chav" as the English equivalent while "vulgar and violent" have also appeared.
However, Macheda said there was no criticism intended. He said: "I like [Rooney] and I have maximum respect for him. What I wanted to say is that for me he is a free spirit and genuine."Reuse content