No footballer welcomes injury, but Jeff Hendrick has more reason to tread carefully than most, having been told by doctors that he will miss up to four months of the season if he dislocates his right shoulder again.
The Derby midfielder injured the joint in innocuous fashion during the Championship game against Ipswich Town, but the damage was considerable, with the severity compared to that normally suffered by rugby players.
“It’s getting there slowly,” he said yesterday while on Ireland duty in Malahide.
“It was a bit of a weird injury for me. Usually I’m more used to leg injuries. It was a weird sort of pain that I had, it’s getting there now and I’ve got my rehab to do every day.”
The shoulder remained out of the socket for three painful hours and morphine was required to combat the effects of the surrounding muscles seizing up, but the up side was that no operation was needed and he was back playing after four weeks.
“I am going to need one eventually, it’s a case of how long can I keep it stable. If it comes out again then it’s straight in for an op. I have been told that it’s a 50-50 chance. That’s why I am strengthening it up every day doing the rehab.”
Still, the timing was unfortunate after a great start to the season which saw him claim goals in each of Derby’s two opening wins and he has managed just 47 minutes from two bench appearances since his return to fitness.
Also, he reported in for duty in Dublin ahead of the double-header with Gibraltar and Germany with his club manager, Steve McClaren, having a word in his ear prior to departure from the East Midlands.
“I don’t know if [McClaren] was too mad about me going away but I’m back training now,” said Hendrick whose candidacy moves up a notch this next week through the absence of Everton’s James McCarthy.
“He’s had me in two squads and I came on in both games so there was nothing really he could do. I am sure he would have preferred for me to be back there. The only thing he said was ‘come back fit’.”
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