Hatters midfielder Luke Berry has taken his first steps out on to the grass once more just 10 weeks after the horrific injury which ended his season at Colchester.
The 25-year-old suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula in the opening stages of Town’s 2-1 defeat at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on March 30, but was videoed on the club’s official website being put through his paces by club physiotherapist Simon Parsell.
While the other players have jetted off to various locations this summer, Berry has been in to the Brache most days and on his recovery, he said: “It’s the first time I’ve been out there and it’s coming on really well, so I don’t think I’m too far off.
“It’s been quite good, Si’s brilliant to work with and it’s just a joy to be in every day.
“Every week I feel like I’m progressing, last week there were exercises I couldn’t do and this week I can do them quite comfortable, so I feel progression and that’s the main thing.
“Si will say something different, but I’m not too far off.”
He’s put the graft in, put the work in and he’s getting the benefits of it, so we’re delighted that he’s back on the grass.Simon Parsell
Parsell himself had been impressed by the manner in which Berry has tackled his recuperation, saying: “It’s been good progress, so far so good.
“The man’s been a top, top player to work with.
“He’s put the graft in, put the work in and he’s getting the benefits of it, so we’re delighted that he’s back on the grass.”
Berry has been accompanied by Parsell throughout his rehabilitation, but the popular member of Town’s backroom staff didn’t mind giving up his own holiday.
He continued: “It’s part of the job. This year I’ve been in with Luke, it’s nice because you get one-on-one time.
“Normally when you’re in here day-to-day you’ve got all the lads coming in for bits and pieces. Here you’ve got one person to look after and I think that helps with regards to the rehab that we get that quality time together one-on-one.”
The midfielder was also quick to praise Town’s fans for their help during this tough time as well as Parsell, saying: “The support I’ve got from Twitter and cards has been brilliant and has really helped me through.
“Si’s helped me through as well, so it’s been fantastic.”
On what happens next, with Luton’s players reporting back for pre-season training on June 27 and then off to Slovenia for a week the following month, Parsell said: “If we get the green light from the surgeon, it gives us more chance to get back on the grass, make it a little bit more football functional and that’s the whole idea of the rehab that we’re trying to do.
“We want to make it football functional while throwing in hurdles as an obstacle, so the green light would be get out on the grass, football, and a bit more running.
“We’ve always got to be realistic, we’ll take each day as it comes and we see where we push.
“One way or another Luke will be on the plane going to Slovenia, whether that’s continuing his rehab or the fact that he’s getting close to joining in a bit, he’ll be on the plane with us.”
On Berry’s progress, team-mate James Collins added: “I’m so happy for him, he’s been such a big player for us and it was such a horrible injury. I was there next to it when it happened and it wasn’t very nice to see, but Bez is a top man and he’s a top, top player as well, so the sooner we can get him back fit, the better team we’ll be.”