March 26, 2018 / 7:38 PM / 24 days ago

Sigurdsson wants to return 'stronger and fitter' after injury

(Reuters) - Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has stepped up his recovery from a knee injury and hopes to be “stronger and fitter” when he eventually returns to action.

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - Europa League - Playoffs - HNK Hajduk Split vs Everton - Split, Croatia - August 24, 2017 Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

Sigurdsson was injured in the Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this month. Concerns that the injury could rule out the Iceland international from the World Cup finals in Russia eased after he had a scan, with team officials saying he is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks.

“The body will take its time to recover and I have to listen to it. I have been very lucky with injuries in my career and, hopefully, I will come back stronger and fitter than ever,” Sigurdsson told the club’s website (www.evertonfc.com).

“We have been working on getting the swelling down and the fluid out of the knee and getting some movement back into the knee. I am seeing the specialist in London next Tuesday and he will reassess me – and we will take it from there.”

Sigurdsson, who has four league goals and three assists for Everton this season, said he was not using crutches to walk anymore but added that the next phase of his recovery was physically and mentally tougher than he had expected.

“It is hard work and not as good as being out on the pitch training. You can understand why it is difficult for the players who have long-term injuries when they have to watch the boys going out training every day,” Sigurdsson said.

“I have to get through a lot of exercises with the physios and on the machines – and the hands-on treatment as well. Then there is work in the pool and in the gym.”

Everton are ninth in the league table with 40 points after 11 wins, seven draws and 13 defeats. They host league leaders Manchester City on Saturday.

The World Cup finals will be held from June 14 to July 15.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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