Forgotten Man Close To Fitness
Forgotten man Patrik Berger has at last put his knee injury nightmare behind him and will resume full training next week.
The Czech midfielder, who has missed three months through injury, could feature in the reserves game against Sunderland (away) on 22 Feb.
Berger told the official site: 'I've been out for a while and things are looking good. Basically I start on Monday with the first team, which I am quite looking forward too. It's behind me now and since I started progressing I didn't anything so hopefully it will stay as it is and I'll be able to start Monday. I'm excited to be honest. It was not the best season for me because I was injured at the beginning of the season and I couldn't really play a few games in a row, so hopefully from now on until the end of the season I'll be fit and ready to play.'
O'Leary said the injury couldn't have come at a worse time and that he had bought Berger to 'come on and change a game. I wanted to bring him on and unlock the door when games are close. He can open something up for you.'
Also explaining why he had been forced to go down the route of bringing in a free signing:
'It was a situation where we were losing Hitzlsperger and there was no money. He was a player who was not going to cost us anything. We didn't bring anyone in this January and this is the closest we'll get. This and having Kevin Phillips back. That came as a boost to the players.'