Luton midfielder Luke Berry has taken further steps on the comeback trail from a horrific injury after returning to full training this week.
The 26-year-old is currently recovering from a dislocated left ankle and fractured fibula suffered at Colchester United in March, although was back out on the Kenilworth Road pitch with his team-mates ahead of Town’s 3-1 defeat to Norwich last week.
Giving an update on his fitness at the weekend, boss Nathan Jones said: “He trained with us yesterday (Friday) fully, and scored two wonderful goals, probably with two of his first four touches, so the kid’s just an inspiration,
“The movement was fine, he wasn’t getting as involved, but put one real big tackle in which would have done him the world of good mentally, so he’s making good progress but we won’t be rushing him.”
The last point is crucial as although Berry is already making huge strides, Jones confirmed he won’t be risked under any circumstances until fully ready.
He continued: “We’re still not anywhere there yet, we’ve got to give him a real good solid pre-season and get him back running, physically fit.
He’s been brilliant and he’s still a massive positive influence around the place which is really good for the environment.Nathan Jones
“It’s not just the ankle that heals, but all of his body is conditioned and ready to go as well.
“What we can’t do is rush him as it is a serious-ish injury and we’ve got to make sure that we bring him back safely but quickly as he’s a massive player for us.”
The Luton chief believes that by being in the right hands and doing everything asked of him since the moment the injury struck, has given Berry the best possible chance of returning ahead of schedule.
He said: “It’s just the right treatment and he got instant treatment from the medical staff.
“He went and had a good surgeon who did the operation, then he’s listened to everything.
“He’s come back and he’s pushed himself, done everything right, ate, ice, elevation, rest, pushing himself through things. He’s wanted to do it, doesn’t shy away, he’s just a warrior, that’s the character of him.
“He’s a quiet assassin really and that’s why we love him.
“He’s been brilliant and he’s still a massive positive influence around the place which is really good for the environment.”
Jones was once again quick to praise the mentality of Berry during his lay-off, as he believes it has played a huge part in the swiftness of his recovery so far.
He added: “The biggest thing is the boy, the boy’s character, how he is, any PMA (positive mental attitude) he epitomises it in abundance.
“From day one as he was coming off the pitch he told me ‘it won’t be long gaffer, it’s just my ligaments,’ that’s what he said to me coming off the pitch at Colchester.
“Then straight away in hospital, he’s positive, then he says ‘I feel good,’ he’s walking after a few days. I could go on about the positivity he’s shown as I love the kid, he’s done brilliant for me.
“He’s been everything and more we thought we were paying for and he’s so important around the place. He’s Danny Hylton’s new room-mate so hopefully he can have a calming influence on that clown.”
Meanwhile, team-mate Elliot Lee added: “It’s great to have Bezza in and around it.
“He’s a great player, a great asset to the team and he did score a couple of worldies in training.
“He’s nowhere near his fitness yet and that just shows how good he is, as he didn’t look out of place at all yesterday.
“So once he’s 100 per cent fit, he’s only going to be another great boost to the team.”