Williams ready to return for Boro

Williams ready to return for Boro

Posted on December 12, 2015 in 'News'

Former ECU Joondalup academy player Rhys Williams is ready to return to action for Middleborough after nearly two years out of the game with an Achilles problem.

The Socceroo defender who headed to the UK from ECU in 2004, has featured in just two first-team games since he ruptured his Achilles against Wigan in January 2014. He made a comeback in January this year, but again broke down just minutes into an FA Cup tie at Barnsley, and only know is he nearing full fitness.

But the 27-year-old former Boro skipper, believes he can deliver a huge boost to Aitor Karanka by pushing for a first-team place. “I am really good, I have become a lot stronger, slimmer, I can jump higher, run quicker and run further, I am in the best condition of my life,” Williams said.

Williams is set to play for Boro in an Under-21 Premier League fixture at Reading on Wednesday and, if things go well, take part in the following game against Chelsea on December 21. Boro Coach Aitor Karanka has praised the strength of Williams’ character. “Rhys is training with the team, and we are thinking that he can play with the Under-21s next week, maybe one or two games,” he said. “He is really good, and feels better than last season.

“We are all really pleased. It says a lot about his character that he has been able to come through this. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. He is pleased and excited, and hopefully next week he will get a good test if he is able to play with the Under-21s.”

Everything has gone to plan so far, with Williams’ personal reports on the state of his Achilles providing further cause for optimism. “He has had to go through an awful lot, but the positive thing is that he feels a lot better than last year,” Karanka said. “The feelings and sensations that the player can feel are important. “He has been training really well, and he is confident. We are optimistic, but we can’t forget that he has really been out for two years.”