Cardiff City’s Irish midfielder Stephen McPhail made a surprise but welcome return to the Bluebirds fold last night after making a comeback from a long term knee injury during the 2-1 defeat away at Peterborough United.
McPhail underwent a knee operation over the summer, capping a mixed season for the ex-Leeds Untied man following treatment for lymphoma, and knee, hamstring and rib injuries. Despite those set-backs, McPhail returned to form in style and looked back to his footballing best when fit, producing some telling passing displays and re-establishing his potent partnership with Michael Chopra.
Indications were that McPhail would need a further fortnight to return to the matchday squad, having missed the entire pre-season regime, and only returning to light training a couple of weeks ago. However, the cultured left-footer has a history of making miracle comebacks and returned far earlier than expected for the Newcastle United away game last season (I won’t mention the result!).
McPhail replace Seyi Olofinjana after 30 minutes last night and managed almost an hour before he too was replaced by Welsh teenager Aaron Wildig. The runout will have done McPhail the world of good, and hopefully give him a lift, and the motivation to get fully fit and feature in the starting XI once again. He will have his work cut-out with new recruits Olofinjana, Drinkwater and Koumas vying for midfield positions and the creative Peter Whittingham also excelling after recently operating in a more central role.
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