Sheffield United: ‘It won’t be long before I’m back to my best,’ midfielder Paul Coutts predicts

Paul Coutts is on the comeback trail
Paul Coutts is on the comeback trail

Paul Coutts insists he can quickly rediscover his best form when Sheffield United finally decide to thrust him back into first team action.

After spending nearly a year on the sidelines recovering from a fractured leg, the midfielder issued the prediction after taking a major step forward in his recovery earlier this week.

Coutts, who played just over an hour of yesterday's friendly against Sheffield FC, said: "Obviously it's will take a bit of time to get my sharpness and belief back but not too much because I feel absolutely fine.

"I've been desperate to get back out there for a while now. The injury has healed, the boys are doing brilliant, and I want to be involved as soon as I can.
"I know everybody always says they'll come back better than ever but, with everything the consultant and physios here are saying, that should definitely be the case with me. I'm not feeling any ill-effects and, in my own mind, I'm ready to be involved again although obviously there's a programme I've got to follow."

Wilder, whose side entered the international break third in the Championship table after beating Aston Villa last weekend, believes it will "be like signing a new player" when Coutts, arguably his most influential player during the first-half of last season, is declared available for selection.

Despite warning not to expect "too much too soon" from the 30-year-old, United's manager has also spoken of his delight at both Coutts' mental and physical conditioning in recent weeks, admitting: "If it was up to me, he's probably be out there now."

The next phase of Coutts' rehabilitation is scheduled to come on Tuesday, when United host Charlton Athletic in a Professional Development League fixture at the Steelphalt Academy.

"The plan is for me to be involved in that," he said. "Then, there might be another one after that before, hopefully, I'm back in contention again."