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Michael Johnson winning fitness battle

Michael Johnson in Abu Dhabi

Michael Johnson in Abu Dhabi

Michael Johnson admits that his season ending knee operation is easier to deal with than it might have been and has vowed to be fit for next term.

The England under 21 international, who is currently out in Abu Dhabi coaching youngsters at the Etihad soccer school, is drawing on his previous experience to help him over the frustration.

And he has pledged to be back as good as ever for the start of the next campaign.

“I think having recovered from a serious injury before means that this time I am a little more experienced and can deal with the frustrations much better,” declared the 22-year-old who last featured in the squad as a sub against Chelsea back in December.

“No player wants to have to go through such a long recovery and it has just been bad luck that I have had two in a row early in my career.”

Of course the injury was disappointing for everyone, for the fans as well as me. They want to see me play and all I want to do is play and prove to them again what I can do

...Michael Johnson


“There’s no point looking back now, what’s happened has happened and all I can do is keep working hard and stay positive and that is what I am doing.”

“I went down to see the surgeon for my 12 week check up just a few weeks ago and he gave me the all clear. It looks as though the surgery has been very successful.

“The graft was strong and he told me to start building up my running now and start strengthening my knee again day by day,” reported Johnson.

“It’s just a matter of time, patience hard work now. If everything goes to plan I am looking at the start of next season to be hopefully joining in with training sessions again.

"I’m very positive, the timing of pre season gives me a really good target and I’m very confident that I can make it. I suppose the rest of the team can’t think about the next season yet but that’s certainly what I‘m thinking about.”

Johnson admits that he has become an expert on rehab after a couple of badly interrupted years after he seemed set to take the Premier League by storm.

“I know a million and one knee exercises and on top of these I do a couple of specific knee weight sessions a week to build up the muscle around the area,” he laughed as he headed for another coaching session with Abu Dhabi youngsters.

“I am here to lend our support the soccer schools and to give the kids out here a great experience. They all looked like they were having a good time. It was also great to see them all in their City shirts as well, people in Abu Dhabi seem very passionate about football.

“It can only be good for football out here that we can get involved and pass on a bit of our experience. Our owner is from Abu Dhabi so I think it is important that we understand the culture and help football and the local communities here in any way that we can.”

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