LISA SMITH, STAFF WRITER
Wolverhampton Wanderers medic Steve Kemp has praised striker Chris Iwelumo for his stoic attitude in the face of his latest adversity.
Iwelumo was forced to curtail the club’s pre-season summer tour of Western Australia a week early after suffering a broken metatarsal in Mick McCarthy’s side’s opening game of the summer, a 1-0 victory over Perth Glory.
An innocuous challenge saw the Scotland International limping from the field and he has since undergone surgery upon his return to Britain.
Kemp, however, is convinced the player will soon be back to the form which saw him finish last season’s promotion chase the club’s second highest scorer with 16 goals, behind Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.
Kemp said: “The surgeon who operated on Chris was very pleased with the operation after he has sustained a stress fracture in the game.
“It was decided to fly him straight home and he met the surgeon last Monday and had the operation on Tuesday.
“There was a slight complication because Chris already had a screw in his metatarsal from a previous injury and this had to be removed and a new one inserted. But the surgeon was delighted with the operation which was a complete success.”
Kemp has told Iwelumo to expect a period of time on crutches and then further rehabilitation before he can start to kick a ball again.
It is a major blow to a player who had only just regained fitness after a medial knee ligament injury caused by a horror tackle from Lee Carsley in the derby with Birmingham City last season.
Kemp said: “Chris will be on crutches for two weeks and after that will be able to continue with his rehabilitation.
“We will obviously monitor his recovery and see how he progresses but the usual time for recovery from this sort of injury is three months.”
The striker himself admits it was a bitter blow to suffer another injury having worked hard to return to fitness.
“I was devastated having been back for a few weeks of pre-season,” Iwelumo said. “You work so hard to get yourself right and everyone had come back in fantastic shape and I got injured in the first few minutes of the first game.
“I was feeling good and enjoying training and was looking forward to the season. It is difficult to take, but it’s part and parcel of football.”
Iwelumo admitted he was now using team-mate George Elokobi for inspiration after the left-back came through almost a season-long knee injury last term.
“If ever anyone needed any inspiration then you only have to look at how George Elokobi came back from a much more serious injury last season,” the Scotsman explained.
“His attitude was spot on and he never complained and that is always the best way to be when you’re coming back.”