A nurturing process
Tuesday, 28 July, 2009
Goals help ease Welbeck's growing pains.
Nicholas Veevers in Donetsk
Brian Eastick revealed after Monday’s 7-1 victory against Slovenia that himself and the England medical team are having to manage the condition of striker Danny Welbeck throughout the competition.
The Manchester United hitman netted two goals against Slovenia on Monday to help fire his team to the semi-finals, but he has yet to complete a game for the Young Lions after a number of injury problems over the summer months.
The 19-year-old was due to go to the European U21 Championship finals with Stuart Pearce’s squad earlier in the summer, only for injury to force him out of that competition.
However, missing those games has allowed him to travel with the U19s, where his performances have caught the eye.
“I have a obligation to protect him a little bit,” admitted Eastick after the game, which saw England reach the last four for the first time in this competition since 2005.
“Danny has not been 100 per cent fit and Sir Alex Ferguson has been very good in allowing him to come.
“He has had a little bit of a growth spurt in the last few months and when that happens, sometimes it takes the rest of the body a bit of time to catch up.
“So we are nurturing him at the moment and not playing him flat out.
“That is why he has not played 90 minutes for us yet.”