Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Alex Pritchard says he is working hard on his recovery from the ankle surgery he underwent in October ahead of his expected return to full training in the new year. The 22-year-old academy star admits he is having a difficult time but the good run of Mauricio Pochettino's side is pushing him to come back stronger.
The Under-21 England international earned a return to White Hart Lane in the summer after scoring 12 goals in 45 appearances during an impressive loan spell at Brentford during the 2014-15 season. However, his breakthrough into Pochettino's plans was hindered after he sustained a problem in his ankle on international duty during a game against Sweden in the U21 European Championship – missing the club's pre-season training.
Pritchard returned to action during the 0-0 draw against Everton on 29 August but days later, he suffered a setback, forcing him to undergo surgery. The club then ruled out him for around three months after saying he was not expected to return to full training until 2016.
Speaking with the club's website about his recovery almost two months after going under the knife, he said: "It's been a difficult time for me but I'm getting there now. "I've done a lot on the bike and now I'm starting to put bodyweight on my ankle, I've been in the pool and running on the treadmill.
"I'm just waiting for the back of my heel to recover properly and then once I'm back outdoors running, hopefully I won't have to wait too long to be back on the pitch."
Pritchard, nevertheless, says he is enjoying the impressive form of his teammates, with Spurs unbeaten since the Premier League opener.
"The form of the lads has been exceptional and they've been great with me as well," he said. "They've all been speaking to me every day and telling me not to worry, reassuring me that I'll be back playing again soon.
"Of course, I'm very happy for the boys to be doing so well but on the other hand I find myself sitting there in the physio room watching them playing on the pitch and thinking 'that's where I want to be'. My goal is to return fit, be a better player and play more games in the Premier League."