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Jonny Castro Otto targeting long-awaited Wolves return

Jonny Castro Otto is ramping up his injury recovery as he targets his long-awaited Wolves return.

Jonny Castro Otto (Getty)
Jonny Castro Otto (Getty)

The defender has been sidelined since last April after injuring both his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

He had only played eight games last season before that injury, after coming back from an ACL injury in the same knee from August 2020.

But after incredibly bad luck Jonny has been in full training sessions with Wolves after returning to the grass in January and is closing in on a return.

Head coach Bruno Lage said: “I’ve spoken with him, especially in the last two weeks, and every time he comes to the pitch I also invite him to the meetings to understand the way we play.

“There was good work between the medical department and us to understand what happened with the player.

“When he started training I said now is the time to be comfortable and understand his limit.

“After, when he feels he is ready, we can start to push.

“In the last two weeks he has felt comfortable and ready. We started to push and he started full training sessions with us.

“The way he is training, it looks like he is 100 per cent confident and he feels well. I think he is ready and he feels good with what he is doing every day.”

Jonny could play for the under-23s in order to get ready for first team minutes, following a similar path others have taken to regain fitness.

But Lage insists that decision is down to the player and he alone will make the call on whether he needs minutes with the academy before returning to the Premier League.

“I respect a lot what he wants,” Lage added.

“One thing is young kids that need to play and another is players with more experience and problems.

“Some guys have good feelings when they play with the under-23s and other guys have a bad experience and prefer to train.

“It depends on everyone. I’ve already given that solution for Jonny and the decision is (up to) him.

“If he needs to play 45 or 60 minutes then he can go, or if he just needs to train then that is OK. It is about him and how he understands his body to take the best decision.”

Considering the poor luck he has suffered, Jonny would be forgiven for being tentative on his return to football.

But Lage believes the Spaniard is raring to go and is eager to get back in a Wolves shirt.

“I can see by Jonny’s character that he enjoys competition,” he said.

“It’s like when a formula one driver has an accident but when he goes to the car, he forgets everything and wants to go at high tempo. It is the same.

“When the player feels comfortable and he comes to play in training or at a game, he forgets everything and want to compete.

“I want Jonny to have better luck than what he had in the past and he comes every day with happiness to recover the time he lost.”

The left-wing-back will have plenty of competition in Rayan Ait-Nouri and Fernando Marcal when he does return.

But Lage hopes Jonny’s versatility will be useful when he does step back on the pitch.

“Yesterday when I was talking with him he said he can do the five positions as a defender, so that is the best thing as a manager to see,” he added.

“Now we have three left-backs who can give us different profiles. Rayan is more offensive and left-footed, Marcal is a guy with more balance who can do things with more control and now we have Jonny who is right-footed and maybe can play more on the inside and find players in between the lines.

“We have our dynamic and each player brings their talents for the team.”

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