Fulham are wary of applying too much pressure on Simon Elliott as the midfielder nears his first-team comeback.
Elliott signed from Columbus Crew in January 2006 but made just 12 appearances before being ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a calf injury.
The 33-year-old also remained sidelined for the whole of last season with an Achilles problem.
But light now appears to be at the end of the tunnel for the New Zealand international after he completed 60 minutes for the reserves game against Chelsea on Monday evening.
“It’s important that we don’t put too much pressure on Simon because he puts enough pressure on himself,” reserve team manager Billy McKinlay said.
“The period of time he’s been out for means that it’s going to take a number of games to get match fit and ready to go.
“It’s important that we take the pressure off him. He’s a good boy and is very harsh on himself so we’re really, really pleased with him.
“He’s had a lot of frustrating times and I don’t think I’ve seen anybody in my time in the game work as hard and as long as he’s worked over the past 18 months.”
Fulham midfielder Simon Elliott continues to hope for a return to first team football before the end of the season in May.
The New Zealand international suffered an achilles injury before the season got underway and then had a setback in his recovery in the autumn.
Elliott is happy with the way his recovery is now progressing and hopes to get the all-clear from the surgeon, for more serious training, in the next fortnight.
Elliott explained “In recent weeks I’ve started to see the light at the end of the tunnel which is really pleasing for me.”
“I think injury recovery is always a tricky one. Of course there are targets set for you which you’re keen to meet but I think you have to take it with a grain of salt because you might reach some targets sooner than expected whereas others perhaps might take longer.
“I’m hoping to continue with my running and then start to build up the footballing side of things, the lateral movement with a football and then hopefully trying to get into one-on-one training sessions.
“I’d say that I’m cautiously optimistic about returning to full training before the end of the season at this stage.
“At the moment I’m just looking forward to my newest goals, the running and the ball work. It must be said though that I’d be disappointed if I wasn’t training on a full-time basis with the fellas by the end of the season.”
Fulham boss Chris Coleman has admitted Simon Elliott is likely to miss most of the season.
Elliott has yet to feature for Fulham this season after picking up an injury in pre-season. The New Zealand international suffered a setback in his recovery after picking up an Achilles problem in training.
Coleman is expecting to be without the midfielder for another three or four months.
“Simon Elliott has had a setback and he’ll be out for another three or four months,” Coleman said. “He had a twist in his Achilles tendon and unfortunately he’ll miss the majority of the season.”
Fulham midfielder Simon Elliott miss the start of the season after picking up a calf injury during the pre-season tour of Austria.
The New Zealand international was unable to play any part in the goalless draw with Real Madrid after sustaining the injury in training. Fulham manager Chris Coleman told the club’s official website: “Unfortunately the only down side of the trip was that we lost Simon through a calf injury. We are taking every precaution with him to protect that, and make sure we can get him back as quickly as possible. It is disappointing, but it is just one of those things that happen. Other than that we have been okay, and the fitness levels of the players keep on improving every day.”
New Zealand midfielder Simon Elliott could make his Premiership debut as early as Monday after signing for London club Fulham.
After weeks of speculation the 31-year-old has joined the club on a free transfer from United States franchise Columbus Crew.
However, the official announcement of Elliott’s move has been delayed as he is still awaiting his international clearance from Columbus via US Soccer after Fulham’s transfer request was wrongly sent to New Zealand Soccer last week.
Providing the paperwork is cleared as expected, Elliott will join Fulham reserve team New Zealander Chris James at Craven Cottage.
Elliott brought himself to Fulham manager Chris Coleman’s attention during Columbus’ 2-1 win over Fulham in a pre-season friendly in the United States in July.
“He’s a solid midfield player and is experienced,” Coleman said. “He’ll add strength and depth to the squad”.