Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rusty Jones May Have Part to Play in Derby

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rusty Jones May Have Part to Play in Derby

Article excerpt


KENWYNE Jones has left the door open for a dramatic Premier League comeback in the Wear-Tyne derby, but admits it may be a month before he regains his full sharpness, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

Jones was back in a red-and-white shirt for Sunderland's reserve team last night, and emerged unscathed from an hour's football.

But there were inevitable signs of rustiness in his performance against Wigan reserves, a game that drew a crowd of almost 2,500 in a sign of the huge anticipation surrounding the Trinidad & Tobago forward's comeback.

Apart from a smart first-half shot and a header which rebounded off the turf in the second half, Jones did little of note and if Roy Keane does decide to bring him back for the Stadium of Light derby it will surely be as no more than an impact substitute.

Jones admits he would relish the chance of returning in such a big fixture, but he is under no illusions about how far he still has to travel along the comeback trail.

"It feels nice to be back on the pitch and playing again. I was a little bit tentative at the beginning but I felt better by the end," he said. I don't feel 100% but I know that I have some time to get there.

Hopefully in the coming weeks I will be back to my full sharpness.

"I never felt that I would not be coming back. In the first six weeks of my injury I was wondering which time period for recovery I would have - the long full nine months or the shorter one - but thankfully it's the short time. I have been working really hard to get back and thank god I am back now.

"I think the club has a big chance of winning and hopefully I will play a part - you never know what will happen. My next focus is tomorrow and then we will see what happens."

Reacting to the huge crowd at Heppleton, which saw hundreds turned away from the gates, Jones admitted that he felt humbled by the reaction of the Sunderland supporters to his earlier than expected comeback. …

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