Hull City star Michael Dawson has revealed he is in the final stages of rehabilitation from a long-term injury, but believes the visit of Chelsea on Saturday (1 October) will come too soon for him to return to action. The defender has backed his teammates to move on from consecutive Premier League defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, and get a positive result against Antonio Conte's men.
Dawson, 32, played a crucial role for the Tigers as they were promoted back to the Premier League in 2015-16. However, the former Spurs centre-back has been unable to help his side back in the top flight, suffering a medial collateral ligament injury during a pre-season encounter at Mansfield Town in July.
The Hull defender has now provided some positive news for caretaker boss Mike Phelan, revealing that he will be available again soon. However, having been on the sidelines for more than two months, the centre-back is eager not to rush his recovery to play against Chelsea.
"I'm close to a return now, although the Chelsea game on Saturday will probably come a bit too soon," Dawson said, suggesting that he may take advantage of the coming international break to return fully fit against Bournemouth on 15 October. "I've been working outside with the fitness coach for the last three or four weeks and am now just trying to get over the final little bit of discomfort in the knee. It's been a frustrating time for me, but I've been there before and I just want to get back and be a part of this squad again."
The return of Dawson will be a boost for Phelan's back-line after the Tigers conceded nine goals in the last two Premier League games, losing 4-1 against Arsenal before their 5-1 defeat at Liverpool. Those results have damaged an impressive start to the season where they got seven points from the first four games, winning against Leicester City and Swansea before getting a point at Burnley.
Dawson has backed his teammates return to those winning ways with a victory over Chelsea, who also the KCOM stadium on the back of disappointing defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool.
"The boys have been magnificent given everything that was thrown at us during the summer," added Dawson. "As soon as it came to the big kick-off, the lads were flying and the KCOM was rocking. We've seen the togetherness of this group.
"We've had a couple of tough games in the last fortnight and we've got another coming up against Chelsea at the weekend so we have to pick ourselves up again. We need to go out there with the same intensity, the same quality and the same determination that we've seen this season."
Meanwhile, Club's Head of Medical Services, Rob Price, has suggested that Phelan has no new injury concerns ahead of Chelsea, but added that the game will come too soon for the other five long-term injury absentees: Moses Odubajo, Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce, Brian Lenihan and Greg Luer.