Aggressively rehabbing Nabbout targets early return.

Engaging in what he’s described as the most aggressive rehab protocol in his career, Melbourne City attacker Andrew Nabbout is targeting a return to football for the A-League finals — if not sooner. 

After playing a key role in the club’s barnstorming march to a maiden A-League premiership — City losing just a single game that he’s played in in 2020-21 — Nabbout limped off in just the 28th minute of his side’s 4-1 win over Adelaide United on May 13 and, in clear visible distress, immediately headed down the player’s race. 

Fears for his season already rising, scans subsequently revealed that the attacker had suffered a torn adductor and, while the club insisted that they held out hopes that they would be back for finals, the 28-year-old himself beleived that his campaign was over. 

“When it happened I knew that I’d snapped my tendon,” Nabbout told reporters on Monday.  

“And after I did the MRI it showed that it had come off the bone completely, which is normally a seven-week injury.”

Nabbout, however, was determined not to let that be the end of it and two days after getting off crutches found himself back to running in an attempt to return this season.

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And appearing alongside teammate Tom Glover and former NSL Champion John Markovski at the Melbourne launch of the A-League finals, the nine-time Socceroo said that his efforts to return had now left him a day-to-day proposition — with a return for the finals, if not City’s game against Newcastle Jets, now a possibility.  

“Because I’m aggressively rehabbing it, it’s sort of a day by day thing,” he said. 

“Sort of how I feel every day, we’ll progress from there. I’ll have a chat with the medical team and PK [coach Patrick Kisnorbo] and see what the options are and if I can roll the dice. 

“I’m sick of sitting in the stands watching, so hopefully, I can get out there sometime soon. 

“[Finals are] why I started rehabbing so aggressively. I got off crutches and pretty much two days later I forced myself to run. 

“With an injury this serious, it’s a little bit hard to tell and to put an exact timeline on it but I’m working on it, so hopefully.

“Most days I’m in at about eight o’clock and most days I’m out at about four. I’m there pretty much all day training, gym and then treatment. Exhausting every option and using all the resources. 

“Now I’ve started doing the change of direction stuff, trying to get back into training. You know how it is, when you’re out for a few weeks you lose a bit of that sharpness and that’s about getting that back before finals, which is important.”

If he is indeed able to do so, the return of Nabbout would provide a major boost to City’s chances of securing a history Premiership/Championship double this season, the club recently losing Golden Boot winner Jamie Maclaren to international duty. 

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Nabbout, Maclaren and winger Craig Noone have led an attack that, with a game to play, has scored 11 more goals than their next closest rival and received widespread plaudits for its relentlessly intense and lethal nature. 

But with Maclaren now set to lead the Socceroos’ line in their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Taiwan in Kuwait and himself coming back from over a month’s layoff, Nabbout says that finding chemistry between himself, Noon and whoever seeks to fill that final attacking role will be key for City. 

“It’s huge for us, that’s one of our biggest tasks at the moment,” the 28-year-old said. “With me and Noony, we’re two leaders in the team and we need to link up with whoever we’re playing with. 

“And they’re all very capable of playing in that role up front. It’s about getting us adapting together as quickly as possible with whoever is playing up there. We won’t have an issue with that. 

“I’m happy to play wherever he needs me to. I’ve played up front in the national team and at the A-League level before. I’m happy to play wherever [Kisnorbo] wants me to depending upon what he wants to do. 

“We’ll see how we go. I’m comfortable on both sides and up front. 

“As long as I get some game time!”

A potential return for finals isn’t the only issue on the horizon for Nabbout, though.

The attacker is one of the few City players coming out of contract at the end of the 2020-21 season after signing a one-year deal with the club last offseason after a proposed move to Perth Glory collapsed.

However, with the current state of next year’s CBA and salary cap not known — the search for a new TV partner preventing the APL and PFA from engaging in meaningful talks until that was sorted out — discussions between City and Nabbout about possibly extending his stay have momentarily paused.

“We’ve spoken to the club, but, obviously, with how it is with the TV deal and the unknown nature of the salary cap, they’re not sure what it will be next year” he said.

“Talks have been on hold a little bit. Obviously, with the signing of Leckie that’s massive for us. For me, it’s focusing on playing in the finals and hopefully, those [issues] would be cleared up in the coming weeks. 

“We’ve got a few players off contract it would be nice to keep everyone.”

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One thought on “Aggressively rehabbing Nabbout targets early return.

  1. Glad to see Nabbout is looking good to get back before finals, he’d be a much needed addition considering our previous couple of outings. Great read Joey, cheers for this!

    Like

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