Club provides world renowned rehab specialist with striker on target for season opener
Didz tore his medial knee ligament in the draw against Blackpool in February but was on the verge of a possible return to first-team action in April until he suffered cartilage damage that required surgery.
After undergoing the first stages of his rehab through the summer at Town, that recovery will now be intensified in Philadelphia under the expert eye of Knowles, who is credited with helping some of the top sportsmen in the world on the road to recovery from knee injuries, including Tiger Woods, Jonny Wilkinson, Frank Lampard and Mario Balotelli.
“This will give Didz the opportunity to have an intense week of rehabilitation with an internationally renowned strength and conditioning coach,” Town physio Matt Byard told the Club website.
“We have been working closely with a specialist in London, Andy Williams, and it’s on his recommendation that Didz is going to the States.
“I spoke to the manager about it and what we wanted to do. He spoke to the owner and straightaway came back and said we had the go ahead, which is obviously great to receive that support.
“When Didz comes back to us, we will follow the same programme for another week that Bill Knowles set out for him over the first week, which means he will stay at the training ground rather than go with the rest of the squad to Ireland. That will be more beneficial for him.
“The original injury was a medial ligament that he almost ruptured. He worked really hard to get back from that and was closing in on a return when he had the cartilage tear. That was a setback and he had to have an operation.
“We then embarked on some injection therapy and that has helped to tighten up the medial ligament and helped the general repair of the knee. He went through a slow rehab period in May and increased that gradually in June.
“We’ve had some really good feedback from the specialist and we are now at a point of really ramping up Didz’s rehab and that is what next week is all about.
“Everything has gone according to plan in terms of his recovery and the timeframe that is involved, which we set as soon as we knew Didz would need the cartilage operation.
“He won’t be in Ireland and the West Ham game will also be too early for him but we are gearing towards him being right to play games in pre-season and being fully fit for the start of the season – and importantly to be ready to embark on another full season of Championship football.”