David McGoldrick hopes he’ll get on the pitch at some stage against Fulham

David McGoldrick in pre-season action at Southend

David McGoldrick in pre-season action at Southend

David McGoldrick won’t be starting Saturday’s televised Championship opener against Fulham (5.15pm), but he’ll be doing everything he can to catch manager Mick McCarthy’s eye when warming up as a substitute at Portman Road.

The 26-year-old scored 16 goals last season before a knee injury ended his campaign in mid-February. He spent a week of his off-season in America seeing a specialist, returned to training last month and showed glimpses of his magic during pre-season cameo appearances at Southend and Leyton Orient last week.

Asked when fans are likely to see him starting a competitive game, the striker said: “It’s not down to me, it’s down to the gaffer and the physios to decide when I’m ready. I want to be out there again straight away, but I’ve got to be correct with this knee.

“Saturday is probably a bit too soon to start, but hopefully I’ll be involved in some way in this first game – maybe come off the bench, I don’t know.

“I’ll be doing star jumps in front of the gaffer to try and get him to put me on! Hopefully he might not need me. We could be comfortable, or he might need me. You never know in football. I just hope I can get back on that Portman Road pitch soon.”

He continued: “If I don’t play this weekend then maybe it will be at Crawley (in the League Cup next Tuesday), or at Reading the following weekend.

“There is no date pencilled in though, we’re just taking it day-by-day. I’d only had one or two training sessions before the Southend game, but I’d been doing loads of running before that.

“When you’re out for five months you lose a bit of sharpness, but it’s coming back slowly. When the gaffer sees fit, I’m sure he’ll put me in there.

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“It’s been good to be back training and being around the lads every day. The knee is getting there. You get a few aches and pains sometimes because you’ve gone from not using it for five months to hammering balls with it, but other than that it’s been fine.

“I’ve come through rehab good so far, I’ve still got to my leg work, but it’s great to be back.”

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full interview.

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