Lee Cattermole, Nedum Onuoha, Danny Welbeck & Fraizer Campbell all featured in a specially organized training match this weekend, as we reported last week, and the great news is - they all came through without hurting themselves or each other.
The game only lasted 60 minutes but was played at full pace, and Catts even managed not to get sent-off or even booked, although it's fair to say the referee probably had a home bias.On a more serious note, it's good to have all four on the road to recovery, although the game against Liverpool this Sunday will probably come too soon for Cattermole & Campbell, who are more likely to feature in the reserve team clash with Manchester United this Wednesday.
Steve Bruce said of his returning captain "We're trying to nurse Lee through things. It's been awkward for him, and we're not going to take risks."
The gaffer went on to further suggest that Cattermole will not be involved at the weekend saying "We've got options in central midfield. We've got Sulley Muntari & Jordan Henderson playing there, and Steed Malbranque along with Bolo Zenden can do a job there. The last thing we want to do is rush Lee."
All of which is fantastic news for us down the run-in. Whilst Muntari is slowly finding form, we've missed a leader on the pitch, and hopefully come Manchester City away in a few weeks time we'll see Cattermole leading the side out once again.
Henderson may see his future in the middle, but for now he's much more dangerous on the wing, and hopefully he can be deployed there in the future as we make a late surge for a Europa League spot.