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Steve Davis


ElBufalo20

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Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis is still "a little bit away" from returning to fitness after seven months out of action with an ACL injury.

Davis, 38, missed the second half of the 2022-23 season with Rangers and the start of his country's Euro 2024 qualifying campaign after sustaining a double knee tear in December.

"I'm still a little bit away," Davis told BBC Sport NI.

"It's been a bit frustrating."

Davis, who boasts a UK-record 140 caps for Northern Ireland, added: "Unfortunately us footballers aren't the most patient people, but it's an injury that needs a little bit of time so I'm just going through my rehab and hopefully will be back sooner rather than later."

Davis 'positive but realistic' after knee surgery

The former Southampton midfielder underwent surgery in early January and was kept on by Rangers after the expiry of his contract at the end of last season while he recovered from the injury.

Davis' rehabilitation meant he missed Michael O'Neill's return as Northern Ireland manager, having captained the team to the Euro 2016 finals in O'Neill's first stint as boss.

Northern Ireland have endured a disappointing start to Euro 2024 qualifying with defeats by Finland, Denmark and Kazakhstan after an opening victory over San Marino.

However, Davis believes there is still an "awful lot to play for" with NI next in action against Slovenia and Kazakhstan in September.

"I was really excited when he got the job again and came back in," added Davis when asked about his frustration with missing O'Neill's return.

"I think there was a lot of optimism whenever we got the draw as well. He's been dealt a tough hand with the number of injuries we've had, certainly with some of the more experienced players, but it's been great to see some of the younger players stepping up and showing their quality.

"There's a lot to be optimistic about, even though the results haven't been what we wanted.

"I certainly think in the group there's an awful lot to play for. As we've seen already, teams will take points off each other so it's important we go and try to get another win and build momentum again."

Davis joined Rangers for a second spell at the club in 2019

'A lot of great memories'

Davis was speaking at the opening ceremony of the SuperCupNI, the annual youth football tournament held in Northern Ireland which helped further his development over 20 years ago.

"There's a lot of great memories," Davis said. "It was important for my development at that age and was my first experience of going away with a group, away from home, and playing different teams from different countries with different styles of play.

"It was massive in my development. It's a great tournament for younger players and I can't wait to see what the week brings."

On being asked to attend as the guest of honour on the 40th anniversary of the tournament, Davis said: "I was delighted to be asked across, especially on such a landmark year with it being the 40th anniversary.

"That's a testament to the work that everyone's done behind the scenes to make it so successful.

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3 minutes ago, bluenoz said:

Its obvious he ain't part of our new phase. A coaching role perhaps?

Definitely won't be part of the squad going forward, but we've done the right thing in giving him a years contract and helping him through this injury. 

A coaching role would be good once he retires, although he doesn't appear to have given up on playing just yet. 

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3 minutes ago, Negri's lovechild said:

Definitely won't be part of the squad going forward, but we've done the right thing in giving him a years contract and helping him through this injury. 

A coaching role would be good once he retires, although he doesn't appear to have given up on playing just yet. 

I thought it was some sort of rolling contract? 

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Just now, Darth Bear said:

I thought it was some sort of rolling contract? 

I'm not 100% to be honest, just remember something about there being a year.

Rolling contract makes sense, and it's good that we've at least done the right thing and stuck by him through an horrendous injury.

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29 minutes ago, G.E.C. said:

Seen him last week waiting to get in the Club Deck.

Wore a tracksuit so wasn’t sure if he was coaching the soccer schools. I was too shy to say hello.

Pretty strange as my mate who is the absolute spitting image of Davis had a Rangers tracksuit on at the friendly and had a fella come up and ask him for a picture :lol:

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43 minutes ago, ElBufalo20 said:

Any update on him? I know he had that horrible injury but surely he won’t get another year.

Glad the club looked after him but surely only a coaching role would be suitable now.

The fact no new signing has taken the no.10 shirt is a worry!

What’s the worry with that?

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2 hours ago, Negri's lovechild said:

I'm not 100% to be honest, just remember something about there being a year.

Rolling contract makes sense, and it's good that we've at least done the right thing and stuck by him through an horrendous injury.

I'm not sure now either but I'm sure that his contract was as much about giving him access to the medical treatment needed whether that be in-house or on the clubs insurance for injured players. 

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