Lee Clark has insisted Keith Fahey won’t be rushed back into action for Blues.
The Blues boss said he didn’t want risks taken with the Irish international midfielder – nor any heroics.
Fahey won’t return to first-team duty until around mid-September because of a troublesome groin problem.
He sat out Blues’ last five matches of the Championship campaign, and his presence and poise was sorely missed in the play-off semi-finals. And just ahead of Ireland’s Euro 2012 campaign, Fahey ruled himself out as he knew he wasn’t fully fit.
“Keith is making slow progress,” said Clark.
“It will probably be the middle of September when Keith is available for first-team selection.
“But Keith knows that, he’s fine. We’re not going to rush him back.
“I’ve never put anyone’s career in jeopardy to try and get them back quickly from an injury.
“Keith knows the protocol he has got to go through.
“I’m not looking for players to be heroes and cut time off the return date.
“If they do it right and they listen to the medical team and they work as hard as they can on their rehab, they might do that, they might cut time off. But they certainly won’t be put under pressure from me.”
Fahey had groin surgery early into last season and returned at the end of September.
Then the problem reared up just as Blues’ campaign was reaching its climax.
Clark said Fahey would deal with this latest setback.
“Listen, during the course of a 15, 20-year career, you’ll be very lucky if you don’t pick up one injury that keeps you out for a substantial amount of time. That’s part and parcel of the game. You’ve got to be mentally strong to handle that.”