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Edu on his rehab and playing in the Champioms League


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MAURICE EDU'S lifelong dream growing up in America was to mix it with the world's top talents in the Champions League.

The Rangers midfielder was beaming with delight as he managed to take a huge step closer to living out that ambition by helping the Ibrox club win the championship at Tannadice last season to automatically qualify for the group stage of the competition.

But it came at a price. An injury picked up during the victory that secured the title was confirmed days later as being a knee ligament tear which denied the 23-year-old the opportunity to play in the Scottish Cup Final showdown with Falkirk at Hampden.

However, it was the prospect of not being back in time for top flight football's most prestigious event that was one that sent a chill down the American international's spine as he faced up to the possibility he might miss the start of the Champions League.

advertisementEdu, though, finds himself on course to be back in contention for Rangers' European campaign after spending the last four weeks stepping up his training in his homeland after going under the knife in June.

He has now reported back to Murray Park to continue his rehabilitation under the watchful eye of the Rangers medical team.

But the player is confident he is still on course to return in time to play in the Champions League.

"Playing in the Champions League makes me even more eager to return," insisted Edu. "I've always dreamed of playing in the great stadiums of Milan or Barcelona. And there is a possibility of that happening now because we have automatically qualified for the group stage after winning the SPL title.

"It means there is a good chance we could find ourselves playing against one of the biggest names in world football.

"To score a goal in the Champions League at somewhere like the San Siro or Camp Nou would definitely be one of my career highlights."

And it has provided the player with an extra incentive to get himself back to full fitness.

"My knee feels a lot better," explained Edu. "Rehab is going very well and I'm dying to play.

"I am still scheduled to return the second week in September.

" I don't want to come back too early and risk injuring the knee again. I want to make sure I am 100 per cent fit when I come back.

"You don't want to push yourself and come back too soon only to end up damaging the injury again, so I'll be sensible and listen to what the medical people tell me."

Incredibly, Edu suffered the injury shortly after the half-time interval, but managed to play on for the rest of the match even though diagnosis later confirmed he had torn a ligament.

That, of course, has probably delayed his recovery further, but such was his desire to make sure his new club won the championship that he refused to allow the injury to end his involvement in such a crucial encounter.

But he was surprised to discover days later that it was such a serious injury.

"I felt my knee twist when Darren Dods hit me and it hurt pretty bad," said Edu.

"I was lying on the field for a couple minutes but got up, bit my tongue and let my adrenalin take over to help me finish the match.

"It wasn't until a couple days later that my knee felt really stiff and I thought there might be a problem."

The injury sidelined Edu not only for the Scottish Cup Final against Falkirk but also for the two US World Cup qualifying matches against Costa Rica and Honduras as well as the Confederations Cup.

Edu had been included in the US squad by head coach Bob Bradley, but could only watch all the matches on television, something that the Rangers stalwart admits he did with some mixed emotions.

"I was really excited and really happy for all the guys even though I wish I could have contributed," he added.

"I think we played really well and fought hard. It shows that we're capable of competing against the best in the world.

"Other countries have been looking down on us, but at the end of the day, they now see we are able to produce really good players."

It has been an uneventful at Rangers with no new faces arriving, but Edu is simply pleased that they haven't lost any of their top stars despite speculation they need to sell off one before the start of the new season.

"I think it's good that the core of the team stays," Edu said approvingly.

"We know that changes can happen during the season but we also know that any players who are brought in are here to add quality."

Publication date 14/07/09


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Great news and Thomson being ready for the season starting there's no reason to rush him back in to the team.

WE're looking at a strong central midfield for the new season.

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By Andrew Dickson

MO EDU is hoping to edge closer to a return to training when he visits the surgeon who operated on his knee this week.

The American midfielder will travel to London for his latest assessment after coming back to the country from the States last Friday.

Edu was at Murray Park yesterday for a consultation with the Rangers medical staff as they continue to monitor his progress.

And now the 23-year-old is optimistic of being told he is still on course to return to action in the early part of September.

The former Toronto FC player has spent more than a month on crutches but is now able to put more weight on his leg and is making a good recovery.

It might be another month before he can run properly again but there is a chance he'll be able to remove the supportive brace around his joint in the next few days.

Edu was injured in a clash with Darren Dods just before half-time in the 3-0 win over Dundee United that clinched the SPL for Rangers on May 24 at Tannadice.

Although he was able to play on and complete the game, the extent of his injury became clear soon afterwards and he missed the Scottish Cup final.

Edu also had to drop out of the USA squad that reached the final of the Confederations Cup in South Africa before losing to Brazil.

He told Rangers World: "I've been at home for a little while and it was good to get back home to see my family and spend time with friends.

"But I've been doing rehab work as well and I've been focusing on the range of motion in my knee.

"I'm looking to get a bit of strength back in there too because after the surgery, the muscle has become a lot weaker.

Mo Edu"I'm back here now and the hope is that after seeing the doctor, I'll get the green light to start doing more intense exercises.

"I won't be taking part in pre-season with the rest of the guys and that will be difficult as I'll feel like I'm trying to play catch-up a little bit.

"But Kirk Broadfoot is going through the same thing as me just now so we'll have each other to lean on and we'll motivate each other to get back to full fitness.

"Based on the last time I saw the doctor, everything is going according to schedule and hopefully that will be the case when I see him again.

"I'm still shooting for early September. I'm obviously taking things day by day and there may be times that I suffer some soreness and that sets me back a day or two.

"There might be days when I'm really progressing too so I really can't predict what will happen.

"I don't want to rush back because I want to be able to come back and not find myself being hesitant going into challenges because I'm worried about my knee.

"When I come back, I want to be back for good so I'm just staying optimistic and I'm feeling positive. I'm hoping for the best."


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By Andrew Dickson

MO EDU is making perfect progress after his knee injury - and admits he's being driven to a return by missing out Confederations Cup stardom.

The Rangers midfielder met the surgeon who operated on his knee at the end of the season yesterday in London for his latest check up.

And it was good news for the American who was told he is on schedule to return to action on time as planned.

While no target date has been set as such publicly, Edu has always been working towards playing again in September.

And following news Kevin Thomson should play a full part in pre-season and be fit for the start of the new campaign, this is a further boost for Gers manager Walter Smith.

The last few weeks have been hard for Edu as he has had to deal with the low of a serious injury after the major high he got from winning the SPL in May.

His knee problem ruled him out of both the Scottish Cup win over Falkirk and the USA's Confederations Cup campaign.

Of course, the Americans got all the way to the final and led Brazil 2-0 in that game before eventually losing to the Samba stars.

Edu would have been an integral part of Bob Bradley's team and after missing out, he's determined to make up for it when he gets a ball at his feet again.

The 23-year-old said: "I wanted to be there along with everyone, enjoying the tournament and doing as well as we did.

"I'm really happy for the guys who did well because I think it opened a lot of peoples' eyes to the fact we can play football.

"It shone a light on Americans and proved we do have some talent in our country. That was great.

"It was just sod's law that I couldn't be a part of their success. That's just how the game goes sometimes and I'm concentrating instead now on trying to play again.

"I had been hoping to take the progress I made at the end of last season into the summer and do well with the national team.

"After that, it was my hope to come back here for pre-season and keep moving forward but I've got to take the setback in my stride, find some good from it and go from there.

"Looking on instead of taking part over the summer is something that is definitely driving me on as I work on my recovery."

After all the good work he did in the final few weeks of the season, Edu's campaign came to a more abrupt end than he would have liked.

Injured in the 3-0 win over Dundee United that won Rangers the championship, he's now looking forward to starting light training again in the next couple of weeks.

Edu added: "It definitely was a frustrating way for everything to finish. I was on such a high after coming in to the team and we had done well to win the league.

"Even when I hurt my knee, I just thought it was a little injury and I had been looking forward to the cup final and winning the Double.

"I'm glad we went on to get it but it would have been nice to have been part of that and missing out was a setback.

"The injury ruled me out of all the national team games over the summer and that was a little bit disappointing too.

"I'm working hard to try to get over it and I'm focused on getting my fitness back and returning to the team again."


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