Derby County Club Captain Shaun Barker is to continue his progressive rehabilitation work after 18 months out of action with a serious knee injury later this month with a trip to the USA.
31-year-old Barker, who suffered a dislocated kneecap and ruptured medial ligament, anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligaments, as well as damage to his patella femoral ligament, in March 2012 against Nottingham Forest, will fly out to America during the two-week international break.
The 2009 signing from Blackpool has recently stepped up his workload by pulling on his boots once again to take part in some light exercises using a football, although a return date to further drills such as running, and further down the line training, remain undetermined.
Barker will fly to Philadelphia on 10th November for a fortnight, where he will work with sports rehabilitation specialist Bill Knowles.
Knowles is an Athletic Development Coach & Sports Rehabilitation Specialist who has 21 years professional experience working with World-class, Olympic, Professional, Elite, & nationally ranked athletes from around the world.
Barker said: “Bill Knowles came over a few months ago so he’s someone I’ve met already and spoken to about my injury alongside our medical team.
“I am grateful that the club and Steve McClaren are allowing me to go out to him for two weeks.
“He is a top rehabilitation coach who has worked with various sportspeople.
“I will have two tough weeks of work out there and I’m looking forward to it.”
He said: “I’m in a good place going out there thanks to the medical team here at Derby; I’ve progressed in recent months to put heavier weight on my knee and I think my time in America will be very valuable.”
Derby County Head Physiotherapist Neil Sullivan said: “Bill Knowles is a leading expert on joint compromised athletes.
“He is someone that I invited to the Training Centre earlier this year to spend two days training our Medical Team in his methods and practices and to meet Shaun to discuss his rehabilitation.
“For us to be able to call upon the best specialists in the world to give Shaun that extra boost is invaluable.
“At this stage, although Shaun is still making progress, he is still some way off.
“We obviously want him to have the best chance possible of resuming his career and this trip to see Bill will help with that aim.”