Jack: 'I'm buzzing to be back'
Tuesday, 16 November, 2010
Everton midfielder is happy to be playing after two months out.
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Jack Rodwell is hoping to continue his return to fitness by lining up for England’s Under-21s against Germany on Tuesday evening.
The Everton midfielder picked up an injury playing for Everton on the eve of the Under-21s get-together for their Euro 2011 qualifiers with Portugal and Lithuania.
Rodwell reported for duty with Stuart Pearce’s squad for the September double-header, but scans revealed that he’d suffered a tear to his anterior ligament in his ankle and it ruled him out of action for club and country for more than two months.
But after coming off the bench for the Toffees in Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal for his first outing since August, he joined back up with the Under-21s for their trip to Wiesbaden.
“I’ve been out injured for eight or nine weeks,” he told TheFA.com, “but it’s good that I’m back now as it was meant to be Christmas time, so I’m a few weeks ahead of schedule. I’m buzzing to be back playing again.
“The medical team at Everton has done really well getting me back. It’s taken its time but it’s getting stronger and stronger. It’s the worst injury that I’ve had, I was on crutches, I was in the boot, and you don’t see the light.
“It can be very boring when you’re injured, I couldn’t do anything but lay there with my foot up icing it every hour, so I watched a lot of DVDs. But I started jogging about four or five weeks ago so now it’s just great to be playing again.”
Despite Rodwell’s absence, Pearce’s young team clinched qualification to next summer’s European Championship in Denmark, and the 19-year-old says he was following the action as he recovered.
He’s also seen a number of his fellow Under-21s players being given an opportunity with Fabio Capello’s Senior Team, and he believes that with fitness returning he can also stake a claim for a chance with the full squad.
“It’s good for us to see that players are getting the chance with the Senior Team. It gives you a lot of confidence and we look at them and aspire to do that ourselves,” he said.
“There was talk of others also going in the squad, so it could be anyone. Have a good game for the Under-21s, keep playing well for your club and it could be you.”
“I was gutted I got this injury as I was doing well for Everton and knew there was a couple of friendlies coming up. But there’s nothing I can do about it now, all I am concentrating on is being here with the Under-21s and doing well in the next game.”
He continued: “I’m happy to play any age for England and I’m confident that I’ll make the step up to the Seniors, but I have to work hard for club and country.
“It’s good for me now to get game time with the Under-21s. When I’ve not had a lot of football I need to get my fitness, so tonight against Germany will be a great game for me to get that fitness and confidence in my ankle."
Rodwell added: “England v Germany is never a friendly. I’m really looking forward to it, so hopefully we can get a good result to help us prepare for the Finals next summer.
“We did really well to qualify. I obviously missed the last few games which was disappointing but I was supporting the lads and text a few of them to wish them good luck. They did brilliantly and got that crucial win against Romania.”
You can follow England Under-21s during the build-up and throughout next summer's Finals right here on TheFA.com and also at www.facebook.com/EnglandU21s .