Football - Clarke boosts Sky Blues

Coventry have received a welcome on-field boost with the news striker Leon Clarke will be fit for the start of pre-season training.

PA Sport

The crisis club's off-field troubles have dominated the headlines since the end of last term, with a transfer embargo also providing supporters with little reason for cheer during the close season.

But news that leading marksman Clarke has started running on grass this week with a view to being ready for pre-season on June 28 will certainly be welcome.

It comes after the 28-year-old was forced to cut short a prolific campaign which had seen him bag 21 goals in order to undergo surgery on a troublesome ankle injury.

Clarke, who played his last game for City at the start of March, told the club's official website: "I was really enjoying my football last season so it was just disappointing to have to end it so early but the pain was at a point where it was unbearable.

"I spoke to the gaffer and the physio and we all agreed it was better for me to have the op and be ready for pre-season than try and finish the season and then put myself out until November."

He added: "I've been running for the past three weeks on the treadmill but it's been great to get out on the grass.

"It felt a bit weird at first to be honest because I've had to work on my technique so I don't put so much pressure on one side, trying to compensate for the other, but the physio says I'm doing fine and that everything is going to plan.

"It means I'll be back for the first day of pre-season fit and flying and the news that we will be playing football so early in pre-season is great because you want that to help your fitness as soon as you can."

The Sky Blues face non-league Nuneaton in their first friendly on July 13 before flying to Holland for a pre-season tour the following day.

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