Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell raises fans' hopes of comeback next season after being pictured stepping up rehabilitation in Dubai - in ridiculous shape

Jack O’Connell has been spotted working with a personal trainer in Dubai as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury that forced him to miss almost the entirety of Sheffield United’s last season – and it’s fair to say he’s looking in pretty good shape.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 11:50 am

The defender, who was one of United’s most impressive performers during United’s first season back at Premier League level for 12 years and was surely close to an England call-up, damaged his knee in a training-ground collision with former teammate Dean Henderson and went under the knife in a bid to correct the problem.

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The defender has previously put himself through some intensive altitude training sessions in a bid to accelerate his comeback and despite hopes he may be available for selection again towards the back end of last season, former interim boss Paul Heckingbottom revealed an unspecified “setback” had effectively ended the chances of O’Connell appearing again before the start of next season.

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O’Connell, a big boxing fan, was then pictured doing some work on the pads with Chris Bowman, a Dubai-based trainer who describes himself as an “elite sports performance and injury rehabilitation specialist” – and O’Connell certainly hasn’t been skipping the weights in his time on the sidelines, if that picture is anything to go by.

The image of O’Connell stepping up his rehabilitation has been greeted positively by Blades fans, many of whom attribute United’s struggles last season to his absence.

United had no like-for-like replacement for the Liverpudlian, missing both his defensive attributes and his offensive output as part of United’s 3-5-2 system.

Jack O'Connell has not played for Sheffield United since last September: Simon Bellis/Sportimage