Thurgood hopes to make a swift return

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE midfielder Stuart Thurgood has given the club a boost by insisting he could be back in action sooner than expected.


DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE midfielder Stuart Thurgood has given the club a boost by insisting he could be back in action sooner than expected.

It was announced last week that Thurgood would be out for three months after injuring his knee cartilage in the Essex Senior Cup clash at Harlow Town.

But the 28-year-old, who was making his comeback from an ankle injury picked up in the 2-1 home defeat to Rochdale, believes that he might be back playing as early as February.


"I went to the doctor and at first they said 12 weeks, but I don't think it's going to be as bad as that," he said.

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"It feels much better now and I've been given exercises to do already.

"It's just tensing the muscle to keep it working, but it could be that it's only six weeks and I can be back in action by then.

"I was gutted when I first did it, as I was pleased with how my form had been.

"The team had been doing well too and I don't like missing games.

"I've been fairly lucky with injuries throughout my career, as apart from breaking my ankle at Grays, there haven't been too many other ones."

Before signing in pre-season, Thurgood had long been a fixture on manager John Still's wishlist to bring to the club.

It was worth the wait too, as the midfielder has been an integral part of his new side rising to the play-off places and challenging for automatic promotion.

"It's a great club to be at," exclaimed Thurgood, who started his career at Tottenham Hotspur.

"I've been really happy and feel like I'm giving that extra 20 per cent, which is what you do when you're settled."

The view was similar to that of on-loan Adam Miller, who also felt he had upped his game since moving to Daggers.

Thurgood was part of the same Gillingham side as Miller in 2007-08 and is hoping that his former team-mate will soon become a permanent fixture at Victoria Road.

"Adam is a good player, and he's good to have alongside you in the team," said Thurgood, after Miller extended his loan spell until January 9.

"He likes to put his foot in and can play too, so I'd be happy to see us sign him."

In Thurgood's absence, Daggers have faltered slightly, until they picked up an excellent 3-1 victory over Bury last weekend.

They go into the Christmas period just one place away from the automatic promotion places, and according to their midfield general, they could well be playing League One football this time next year.


"I think we have got the team here to go straight up if we can keep it going," said Thurgood, who has made 19 appearances this season.

"We shocked a lot people with our start to the season and we showed just how good we can be in the defeat to Rochdale.

"I know we lost, but we should have been 4-0 up in the first half.

"Paul (Benson) got a couple against Bury in our last match, so he's back on track too, and we all believe we can have a great season."

n TWO goals for striker Wes Thomas weren't enough as Daggers lost 3-2 in a friendly against Grays Athletic at Bridge Avenue last Wednesday.

Daggers: Lewington, Pooley, Femi, Bentley, Wren, Demetriou, Spiller, Tejan-Sie, Thomas, Montgomery, Bland, Scott.

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