Watford have announced that midfielder Tom Cleverley is targeting a return to action this autumn after undergoing surgery for a long-term Achilles injury.
Cleverley has been out of action for the Hornets since January after picking up a hamstring injury, but after recovering from that he has undergone surgery for an Achilles issue which has troubled the 28-year-old throughout his career.
The surgery was successful and Cleverley will now be working to recover as quickly as possible ahead of the new season. Although it will be virtually impossible for the ex-Manchester United man to recover in time for the start of the season, he is still targeting a quick return and will be looking to compete as early as this autumn.
Speaking to the club website, Cleverley announced that he is remaining optimistic despite being set to miss the start of the season.
“This is something I’ve put up with during my career so it’s good to get it sorted,” announced Cleverley.
“I had been used to playing with pain in my ankle. Now that’s going to be a thing of the past, I’ll be fit and raring to win my place back once I’ve finished my rehab.”
Watford have suggested that Cleverley will now be working closely with the club's new-look medical team during the summer and will begin a programme of rehabilitation at the club’s training ground.
With any luck, the operation could help Cleverley return to the high level that saw him previously become a first team regular at Manchester United. If Watford are to consolidate their position as a Premier League side, his midfield expertise could prove to be crucial.