Newcastle Jets Head Physiotherapist Justin Dougherty says two of the club’s first team squad members, Daniel Mullen and Andy Brennan, are ticking a lot of boxes in their respective rehabilitations from injury.
Mullen and Brennan have plotted different courses this Hyundai A-League campaign, with the former playing an important role in the club’s early season success, and the latter working diligently to adjust physically to life as a professional footballer following his move to the Jets from South Melbourne in the National Premier League (Victoria).
Nevertheless, Dougherty believes both players should soon be in a position to feature for the club on the pitch should Head Coach Scott Miller opt to select them.
“Daniel suffered his (knee) injury in early November and underwent surgery a week later,” Dougherty explained. “To date he is five weeks post-op and he is doing very well.”
“I think a big credit to Daniel is his work ethic and his commitment to his rehabilitation.
“When someone is injured they need to put in a lot of work to get themselves back on the pitch.
“With Daniel we are spending between three and give hours a day doing rehabilitation to get him right and get his body back to where it needs to be to cope with the demands of football.
“He started on-field rehab about two weeks ago and he is doing well.
“At the moment we’re looking to progress him into some single leg stability and strength work while also working on his fitness levels.
“So for me he is at the end of his rehab, but he still needs to get to the next level to tick those boxes for me to be comfortable that he is ready to join the playing group,” he said.
Regarding Brennan, Dougherty said that Jets medical staff are working hard with the young attacker to ensure that his body is brought up to speed with Hyundai A-League standards so he can put himself in line for selection.
“Andy unfortunately suffered a couple of injuries when he came to us, and for me it was more finding the source of the problem, which for Andy we needed to do a lot of pelvic stabilisation work to get his body right,” Dougherty said.
“With someone like Andy it’s got to be a slow process – you don’t want to rush someone back early because there is always that risk of re-injury.
“It’s about getting Andy’s body up to speed with the [Hyundai] A-League.
“He [Brennan] is new to the A-League, hasn’t been in this environment before and hasn’t faced those physical demands that A-League players face.
“So the challenge for us is to try and get his body ready to cope with the rigours of the A-League in terms of the physical content that is required every single day to put yourself forward on the weekend to play.
“At the moment Andy is ticking a lot of boxes for us and he’s now moved into the phase where it’s about building his cardiovascular fitness and his tolerance to loading.
“Once he satisfied that he will be ready to return in with the group,” Dougherty explained.