Leckie return on schedule

Mathew Leckie’s long awaited return from a knee injury is almost here, with the 19 year old excitement machine on track to possibly be included on the bench for Friday night’s game against North Queensland Fury.

Mathew Leckie-s long awaited return from a knee injury is almost here, with the 19 year old excitement machine on schedule to possibly be included on the bench for Friday night-s game against North Queensland Fury.

Leckie has been out of action for the Reds- past 13 games following a crunching tackle from Melbourne Victory-s Surat Sukha, which left the United speedster requiring minor knee surgery and an untimely layoff.

The repetitive, laborious rehabilitation process and road back to fitness can be trying enough, but for someone like Leckie, it is arguably even more so.

Now after countless time spent under the guidance of Reds strength & conditioning coach Sean Tagg, Leckie has rejoined the main training group for all passing and shooting drills, while he is close to resuming full contact.

“It feels strong. It-s getting better and better the longer the weeks go on,” Leckie said on the progress of his knee.

“I-ve been working hard in the gym and also on the pitch now as well, so that-s coming along really well and I-m hoping to get back into full training soon.”

The injury is the first serious setback Leckie has suffered in his rapid rise from Melbourne-s local leagues to becoming one of the Hyundai A-League-s most exciting players. Leckie, who had his name thrown around as a possible inclusion for the Qantas Socceroos- Asian Cup squad before he suffered the injury, admits that while he is no longer feeling any side affects of the problem, it will take some time before he is able to delete any lingering concerns.

“Obviously there-s a thought in the back of my head about the injury, but when I-m training I don-t think about it and it doesn-t feel painful at all,” Leckie said.

“It was a big injury for me, it-s one of the major injuries I-ve had and I think being out for so long that-s why it-s in the back of my mind, but after a few weeks of training I-m sure it will go away.”

Leckie is chomping at the bit to get back amongst the action and has put his hand up to play a part against North Queensland on Friday, however it can be guaranteed Head Coach Rini Coolen and United-s coaching staff will not be taking any chances with the youngster.

“I would be happy if I could get into the team for that (the game against the Fury), but at the end of the day it-s up to the coach so he-s going to make the decision, but I-ll put it out there that I-m ready for it but it-s up to him,” Leckie said.

“It has been tough watching training every day, not being able to get out there and kick the ball around, but the major thing is probably when we-re losing.”

“When we-re losing and you can-t do anything it-s really tough, so that-s something that makes you want to come back as quick as you can, but then you-ve also got to think about being right for it as well.”

Whether Leckie does make it onto the bench to tackle the Fury, one thinks it will not be long before Reds fans will get to see Adelaide United-s number 19 terrorising opposition defences again.

“I-d like to play some games before the finals and then put in for the finals. I want to be part of the team and do something in the games to get us the result and help us towards winning the championship.”

Together with Dutch winger Andy Slory, who is yet to make his Reds debut and is rumoured to be as quick if not quicker than Leckie, watching them in full flight is definitely going to be worth the wait.