Reborn Phil Offers Kennedy Support

Daily Mail (London), December 17, 2004 | Go to article overview

Reborn Phil Offers Kennedy Support


Byline: PETER JARDINE

MOTHERWELL midfielder Phil O'Donnell last night urged stricken Celt John Kennedy to stay positive and beat his injury trauma.

The Parkhead defender had a third operation on his injured knee at Dr Richard Steadman's Colorado clinic earlier this week.

Martin O'Neill is expected to confirm the latest Kennedy prognosis later today with the 21-year-old not expected to be seen in first-team action at all this season.

O'Donnell himself once lost a year of his career through knee surgery and the 32-year-old is something of an expert when it comes to the mental hurdles to be faced when sidelined.

'I was out for a year at one stage because of knee operations and had surgery on three occasions, like John,' said Phil, enjoying an excellent spell under Terry Butcher now he is back at Fir Park.

'There's no doubt that it is a very difficult time for any player who has to go through that kind of thing. It is so hard because there is nothing worse than being at a football club but being unable to contribute to the team out on the park.

'You sometimes get to the stage where you do not want to go to the games, but that has nothing to do with not wanting your pals to do well for the club. It is not that you are not interested - it is frustration that you can't help them and you do get fed up.

'Even working away in the gym, you get days and weeks where you just feel you can't be bothered doing it. It is natural to feel that way.

'It erodes your confidence about coming back and getting over the injury.

You also pick up other niggles even when the knee feels good - you hurt your groin or your hamstring and it slows you down again. …

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