Barry closing in on return

Gareth Barry is making good progress in his recovery from a hernia operation but is not setting a comeback date.

Football News: Gareth Barry

Barry has not played for Roberto Mancini's team this season after being sent for surgery over the summer, but he is now closing in on a return.

He has got some minutes under his belt for the Elite Development Squad and hopes to return to Premier League action as soon as possible, although he will not be rushing things.

"I've had two outings with the Elite Development Squad now - 45 minutes against Middlesbrough and 80 against Liverpool and I felt a lot better in the second game so things are progressing nicely," Barry told the club's official website.

"I had a double hernia operation which meant an initial four weeks out, but then I tore a muscle in rehab which set me back a little bit, but I don't think I'm too far off now - touch wood! I'm just taking things one day at a time but I'm feeling quite strong again which is really good.

"The medical team and sports therapists will have a discussion, though I'm not asking too many questions. I had a comeback date prior to the muscle tear, but things don't always go to plan."

Barry admits it has been frustrating having to watch his team-mates after previously enjoying good fortune to avoid serious injuries.

"This is the longest period of my career that I've been sidelined with injury and the comeback game against Middlesbrough was my first match for three-and-a-half months," he stated.

Being out so long does give you time to think about things and it makes me realise how lucky I've been in terms of injuries and the amount of games I've played throughout my career.

"I've been training with the first team for a fortnight now and getting back into the swing of things again.

"I'm not a good spectator and I don't enjoy watching the games - I'd much rather be out there playing so I'm obviously really looking forward to getting my season off and running again."



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