Luton boss praises Bree and co for going through the pain barrier to be fit for Town's battle to reach the Premier League

Defender makes swift return from ankle injury

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 3:38 pm
Town defender James Bree was back against Reading on Saturday
Town defender James Bree was back against Reading on Saturday

Town boss Nathan Jones has praised the desire shown by the likes of James Bree to do all they can in a bid to get back and feature in the Hatters’ play-off campaign.

The right back looked for all the world like he was going to be out for the rest of the season following what appeared to be a serious ankle injury suffered against Cardiff City recently.

Caught late by Bluebirds defender Joel Bagan, in what Jones labelled afterwards as a ‘diabolical challenge’, he was substituted immediately and left the ground on crutches with his foot heavily strapped.

Bree, who had only missed two league matches prior to the incident, then sat out the Blackpool and Fulham fixtures, before, without even a month passing, he was back in the starting line-up to take on Reading at the weekend, playing an important part in the 1-0 success that saw Town finish in the top six.

Jones revealed that the defender had been in London for a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection, which uses a concentration of a patient's own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.

With striker Elijah Adebayo also having cryotherapy treatment for his hamstring injury, and Sonny Bradley coming back from two bouts of Covid, plus two operations for a sportsman’s groin and then an ankle injury in the Blackpool match, the Luton chief felt it highlighted his squad’s drive to do all they can for the cause.

He said: “We did everything we can to get him (Bree) back safely and quickly and that’s what we did.

"PRP enables the ligament to heal a little bit quicker than normal, and that’s what happened, but you have to have a mentality that you want to get back quickly.

"You have to be able to go through a wee bit of pain and James showed that he can do that.

"We’ve had a few like that that have done that and come back from injury quickly as they’ve wanted to, Allan Campbell was one, Kal (Naismith) has done it, Clicker (Jordan Clark), there’s so many, but that’s what you have to do.”

The fact that Luton are able to put their players through such treatments is further evidence of the work done behind the scenes to give the club every chance possible of getting their best XI on the pitch to compete in a division where they have by far the smallest budget available.

On why they make sure that is the case, Jones added: “I think when you have unlimited resources you have unlimited money or whatever it is, or unlimited knowledge of the best things, there’s so much you can do.

"What our club does is we try and get every little per cent that we possibly can.

"We invest more in infrastructure than we do on just going out and splashing on players wages, so we have as professional an environment as there is.

"A cryotherapy chamber, we use that, that will travel with us, so every little inch we possibly can get we will, but that’s how the football club has been run for a long time.

“I can only say since I’ve come into the football club, the board and the CEO, Gary (Sweet), have backed us on everything we’ve needed.

"All those little things, two nights away, so on, every bit of preparation we’ve tried to do.”