‘Happy’ Shay Given on the road to recovery

Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given will return to training in a couple of weeks after undergoing a second procedure on his injured knee.
‘Happy’ Shay Given on the road to recovery

The Stoke City stopper hasn’t played since October 8 when he was forced off during Ireland’s historic win over Germany at Lansdowne Road.

After undergoing surgery that month to remove chipped bone from his knee, the 39-year-old suffered a training-ground setback and has underwent a follow-up procedure in the past fortnight.

“I’m happy with how it is coming on,” veteran Given told talkSPORT. “Standing between the goal, I don’t do much running but the club had me out running yesterday. Hopefully, I’ll be back training in the next few weeks.”

The 39-year-old has backed calls for the introduction of a winter break in England.

Given sat in the Britannia Stadium stand on Tuesday night watching a number of Stoke and Liverpool players sustain injuries during the Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg which will keep them out of action for several weeks.

The Irishman is convinced the muscle strains stem from an overload of games during the Christmas period.

“I couldn’t agree more with that,” he said of the proposal floated by Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce.

“Players need a break after playing so many games. I’m not saying we shouldn’t train and play over Christmas because we’ve done that all of our career but the people in charge need to look at giving the lads a week or two off during the early part of January. They would come back much fresher.”

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