Express & Star

Wolves star Ruben Neves ahead of schedule in injury recovery

Ruben Neves is ahead of schedule in his recovery from his knee injury as Wolves enter their final push for a European place.

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The star midfielder was due to be sidelined until May with a medial collateral ligament injury to his right knee, which would have seen him miss the majority of the remaining fixtures.

But since coming off with the injury in the loss to Leeds in March, Neves could be in line for a return against Brighton at the end of this month, which would be a timely comeback for the final four games of the season as Wolves push for a top seven finish.

“The plan is (for Neves) to start working with the team next week,” head coach Bruno Lage said.

“After we will see what he can do. It will depend on him.

“Ruben is still out for this game (against Burnley). He is working well and lets see, at the beginning of next week, if he can start training with us and can be available for the next game.”

When asked if his return is ahead of schedule, Lage added: “Yes.”

Wolves will also be without Daniel Podence and Max Kilman for Sunday's trip to Burnley, but the boss was coy on how long they will be missing for.

“Daniel has some pain in his toe and he doesn’t feel comfortable to work with the ball, so it’s a question of when the pain stops and he can start working with the team,” Lage added.

“For Max we need time. We need to understand how serious the injury is. He came out with a little pain and will not be available for the next game.”

Meanwhile, Lage has confirmed that Wolves want to keep Joao Moutinho beyond this season and that he wants to stay at the club.

The 35-year-old is out of contract in the summer but Lage has given supporters hope that he will stay at Molineux by confirming his desire to keep the midfielder as talks over a new deal continue.