Wolves midfielder Edwards relishing return from injury

 

Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards is hoping for an injury-free 2012 as he prepares to rejoin Wolves' battle for Barclays Premier League survival in Tuesday's clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Edwards is set to resume training over the weekend after missing the last two games - at home to Norwich and Stoke - with a groin injury suffered against Manchester United at Old Trafford a fortnight ago.

That ended a seven-game run for Edwards after previously being side-lined for several months with a hereditary back problem which almost forced him to quit the game.

But now he is optimistic of returning against the Gunners as Mick McCarthy's side look to stay clear of the bottom three.

Edwards said: "It was a little groin strain which I had a little trouble with the week before. It was quite tight, but I trained on the Thursday and the Friday and felt good enough to play.

"Then I hit a pass after 20 minutes at United and felt it go a little bit and, because of previous problems I've had with my groins, I knew I'd better go off.

"A year or 18 months ago, I'd have perhaps carried on and tried to run it off. I know my body a lot better now so I knew it was best to go off and miss two games rather than six or seven.

"It's getting a lot better. I've done some rehab and now I'm looking to train over the weekend and, if I can come through that, then I'll be available for selection for the Arsenal game."

Edwards is itching to return to action after missing the two home games.

He said: "I really enjoy playing at Molineux in front of our fans, especially against teams around us. I love it when it's a bit of a battle.

"I was really disappointed to miss the Stoke and Norwich games, but hopefully I've resolved the issue quite quickly and nipped it in the bud and I'll be fit now for the rest of the season.

"I could perhaps have pushed to play on Tuesday and be involved against Norwich but it was still nagging me a bit, so we decided to leave it to make sure I'm fully fit."

Edwards added: "It was great to get a run of games in the team and, with every match, I was getting more confident and feeling very strong in my body.

"It was frustrating to have to come out again. Now I have to fight for my place again now but hopefully I can get in the team and stay there."

McCarthy felt his decision to recall Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and leave out fellow striker Kevin Doyle against Norwich in mid-week was justified.

Ebanks-Blake scored Wolves' opening goal in a 2-2 draw and is likely to again partner Steven Fletcher against Arsenal.

McCarthy said: "It's always a tough call leaving out players who give you such honesty and integrity and a guy in Doyle who is so humble about his ability.

"He's a super lad who is low maintenance and I love him to bits, but he has just been having a tough time and hasn't been scoring (he has only two goals this season).

"I've got someone like Sylvan who's got that ability to get a goal and have to give him a game - and he got a goal.

"It's never easy to make a decision like that but I felt it was the right one to make."

Midfielder Jamie O'Hara will be unavailable after under undergoing hernia surgery but central defender Jody Craddock could come into contention after recovering from a hamstring injury.

PA

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