Winger Michael Kightly has vowed to be fit for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ pre-season training despite his frustrating, injury-ravaged season continuing.
Kightly was forced to pull out of last night’s England under-21 international friendly against Wales because of an ankle injury.
Kightly, who missed the best part of five months because of a niggling ankle injury that eventually required surgery, returned for the final four games of the season as Wolves pushed for a play-off place but he turned his ankle a week before the end of the season and he felt a reaction during training with Stuart Pearce’s squad.
Kightly said he was disappointed to miss out, especially as he was to line up against Wolves team mates Wayne Hennessey and David Edwards. However, a summer of rest should make sure Kightly is fit and raring to go when Wolves return to training on June 30.
"I went over on the ankle while training with Wolves in the week leading up to the Plymouth match," he said. "I was okay for that although it did feel a bit sore after the game.
"I trained twice with the under 21s and it still didn’t feel right. It wouldn’t do me, the ankle or the squad any favours if I went out only 70 per cent fit so I pulled out.
"Obviously, I’m disappointed, not only because I was gong to miss out on another cap, but also as I had the chance of coming up against Wayne and and David, but I just didn’t want to risk doing any further damage. I’ve been told that with a fortnight’s rest I should be fine.
"Pre-season training is only six weeks away and I want to be fit and ready for the start of it, and, hopefully, I’ll get another chance with the under 21s next season."
Wanderers announced their pre-season programme, the highlight of which is the visit of Blackburn Rovers to Molineux on August 2.
Prior to that match the first team have a programme of six away fixtures which includes a three-game trip to Scotland.
Manager Mick McCarthy will also take his players to neighbours Walsall.
"The trip to Scotland will provide us with competitive games," he said. "It’s friendlies in inverted commas up in Scotland. It means we don’t have to travel too far and we have excellent training facilities arranged.
"We know what we are going to get from games like these. They will all want to beat us and the style of play will be similar to what we will face week-in-week-out in the Championship.
"I’m delighted Mark has agreed to bring Blackburn to Molineux. They finished seventh in the Premier League and be excellent opposition to wrap our pre-season programme up."
Wolves travel to Wrexham on July 12, Hereford United on July 16, Dundee on July 20, Motherwell on July 23, Kilmarnock on July 26 and Walsall before returning home to face Rovers on August 2. The Championship season kicks off on August 9.