Everton Director of Medical Services, Danny Donachie, says Andre Gomes’ “incredible work-ethic and attitude” were instrumental in his swift recovery from ankle surgery.
Donachie revealed the Portuguese midfielder’s relentless work-rate stretched to undertaking demanding individual gym sessions outside his planned rehabilitation schedule at USM Finch Farm.
Gomes returned to Premier League action against Arsenal last Sunday.
He played the final 31 minutes of the clash in north London, just three and a half months after sustaining a fractured ankle in the Blues’ 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park.
Donachie says Gomes’ exceptional application and desire during the recovery process was key to his rapid comeback.
“He’s not really had any setbacks, and that’s probably down to his work ethic,” Donachie told evertonfc.com.
“If we had two sessions here at Finch Farm in the day – one in the gym and one outside – he’d do a third session at home.
“Sometimes he’d come in here and already he’d done a two-hour gym session before we’d even started at nine o’clock.
"That’s what’s got him through so successfully.
“Throughout this injury, his attitude has been incredible.
“He’s brilliant. A brilliant guy.”
Gomes delivered a typically purposeful, authoritative midfield performance upon his introduction at Arsenal.
He quickly emerged as one of the game’s most influential performers, with his expansive, precision passing helping Everton apply consistent attacking pressure.
Donachie explained his emotions when witnessing Gomes stride onto the pitch at Emirates Stadium.
“It was amazing,” Donachie said. “It’s probably the best feeling you can have in this job.
“Not only seeing a player recover so quickly, but [the feeling] for him as a person, too.
“We [at the Club] all love Andre so much and feel really close to him.
“Someone asked me recently why I have got such a good relationship with Andre, and my answer was I think everyone’s got a good relationship with Andre.
“He’s such a positive person.
“The night he did it [suffered his injury], I was a little bit concerned because he was so emotional, which is normal.
“He woke up the next morning, he was laughing, joking and back to his normal self – I was so surprised and happy to see him like that.
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GOMES ON HIS RECOVERY AND THE SUPPORT OF HIS EVERTON 'FAMILY'
“It’s not been a challenge at all to help him mentally because he’s so positive.”
Donachie was eager to highlight the importance of steps taken by Club doctor John Hollingsworth in the immediate aftermath of Gomes’ injury.
He detailed how his treatment – and the subsequent work of Aintree's world-leading surgeon Lyndon Mason – provided a platform for Gomes successful rehabilitation.
“I think the most important thing was how he was treated immediately on the pitch,” Donachie said.
“It was a very graphic and traumatic injury – the whole world saw it.
“But luckily, we’ve got an amazing doctor and he’s worked in A&E for so many years. He ran straight onto the pitch and set his ankle back in place immediately.
“Then he received great care at Aintree hospital.
“There’s a surgeon there called Lyndon Mason - he doesn’t do any private work - and luckily he’s the best surgeon in the world for this procedure.
“We got off to a great start and that’s the key.
“It’s a process. Over the next few months, he’s going to have ups and downs, he’ll get pains, but generally I think he’ll just get stronger and stronger.”
Main picture caption (l-r): Richie Porter (Podiatrist), Jimmy Comer (Masseur), John Hollingsworth (Club Doctor), Jack Phillips (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Carl Howarth (Physiotherapist), Adam Newall (Physiotherapist), Andre Gomes (Everton Player), Craig Yuill (Sports Therapist), Lloyd Parker (Head of Nutrition), David Flower (Sports Scientist), Danny Donachie (Director of Medical Services).