Jean-Philippe Gbamin has spoken about his rehabilitation from a quadriceps injury following the Blues’ return to training last week.
In an exclusive first interview with evertonfc.com since before forced out of action in August just weeks into his maiden season for the Club, Gbamin has revealed the encouraging progress he is making after undergoing surgery in February to repair a tear in his quadriceps tendon, as he spoke of his excitement to pull on a Blue shirt once again.
With Carlo Ancelotti’s squad returning to USM Finch Farm last Wednesday for the first time since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gbamin – who signed from German Bundesliga club Mainz last summer - has been working outside with first-team physiotherapist Adam Newall on end-stage rehabilitation. That has included a progressive return to running and using a football, loading the player with more work than a regular full training session so Gbamin is fully prepared when he rejoins his teammates.
The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international is looking to resume full training within the next three weeks before staking his claim to show manager Ancelotti and Evertonians his qualities for the 2019/20 run-in.
“It is great to be back at Finch Farm with my teammates. I have my feeling back that I can get playing again,” said Gbamin. “Training has been good. I worked a lot with Adam (Newall) in the past week, with social distancing in place.
“We worked outside and did some ball work which was great for me to do after the lockdown. I am doing all the things the other players are doing with the ball and I hope to be able to join in full sessions with them soon, depending on what we are told is safe to do.
“I am training with a view to playing this season if the Premier League returns. I feel good, fully recovered and I am ready. We are taking it slowly because it was a big injury. It was not easy but I think if the games start to be played in the Premier League then I think I can play.
“I hope I can bring the quality I have. If I can help the team to go up the league then that would be great. I will be doing my maximum for the team. I can’t wait to play. It has been a long time that I haven’t played football so I know it is going to be hard to start but I am ready for this and I can’t wait for that day to come.”
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EVERTON CAPTAIN COLEMAN DETAILS TRAINING RETURN
Gbamin was hurt in training shortly after his first Everton start against Watford back in August.
After revised surgery in February, he has spent the intervening period working closely with Newall to regain fitness before the coronavirus pandemic forced Everton to close all Club sites.
As a result, Newall worked with Director of Medical Services, Danny Donachie, to design a programme for Gbamin to work on at home to continue his rehabilitation to full fitness, with a treadmill and Wattbike among the gym equipment sent to his home by the Club to aid his recovery.
“I had been alone at home doing my work and it is not easy but there were challenges for everybody and I just kept working hard as I want to play football again,” said Gbamin.
“I spoke with Adam a lot on FaceTime and he sent me a programme each week to work on. Danny helped me get some gym equipment to make it easier to do my rehab.
“My day would be mixed up of gym work at home and then going for a jog in the park in Liverpool. Now we are back at Finch Farm I’m hopeful of more progress.
“My focus is to get back up to 100 per cent. I won’t get there straight away because I’ve not had much football in my legs but that will come.
“Since my operation everything has gone well. I feel like in three or four weeks I can be back in full training and be ready to go.”