Sam Ricketts hopeful Ollie Norburn will be fit for Shrewsbury Town's start
Sam Ricketts is counting on captain Ollie Norburn to be fully fit ahead of the new season.
The midfielder underwent keyhole surgery on a patella tendon in his knee in February, ruling him out for the remainder of last season even before League One ended early because of the coronavirus.
But Norburn has recovered from the injury in the six months that have passed.
The 27-year-old tweeted his thanks to Town physio Jordan Beech over the weekend after Town completed their first week back in training.
And boss Ricketts says he is ‘very hopeful’ of naming Norburn on his teamsheet for League One’s curtain-raiser on September 12.
He said: “Norbs is recovering well from his injury and operation.
“That is all going well and he, like everyone else, will be monitored and carefully managed to make sure they are OK before they are brought up to 100 per cent speed again.”
Asked if Norburn will be ready for the kick-off of the 2020/21 season, Ricketts added: “Yes, we’re very, very hopeful of that. We’ll ease him in, see how he’s working and looking.”
Norburn, Town’s record transfer signing, is entering his third season in blue and amber. He has twice been the subject of speculation from the likes of third tier rivals Sunderland and Peterborough.
Ricketts is a big admirer of the man he made Salop skipper and insists that ‘driving force’ Norburn has the appetite to succeed this season.
“I think Norbs is one of the best midfielders in the league, I’ve never shied away from my opinion on him,” added the boss.
“The most important thing is he’s hungry to achieve more. He’s a driving force, not just for himself but for his team-mates as well.”