“Great to see him back” – that was Head Coach Kenny Jackett’s verdict on seeing Wolves and Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey back in action at Wrexham last night.
Supported by the club’s medical and fitness staff, Hennessey has spent most of the summer working on his rehabilitation after suffering a recurrence of a cruciate knee ligament injury first sustained at Sunderland in April of last year.
He had previously returned to play at Under-21s level at the back end of last year, but is now feeling better than ever and came through the first half of last night’s 2-1 victory at the Racecourse Ground.
“It’s great for both club and country to see him back,” said Jackett.
“He has been missed.
“He has looked excellent in training.
“I am sure now he will be wanting to get more game time to really feel like he is back and any rustiness is out of him before the start.
“We will see how it goes with him now.
“The idea was not to get too far ahead of ourselves and take it day by day.
“We’ll speak to him after his first 45 and see where he goes after that – possibly another 45.
“We are taking it one stage at a time but I don’t see any reason why he can’t continue to play and build up his match time and fitness.
“It was a big step tonight to actually play and if gets back to a league game that will be a step psychologically as well.
“Physically we are comfortable he can play now and those mental barriers are ones he is ready to get through.
“He has trained long enough and needs some game time now – he is positive towards it and he is looking forward to it.”
With two-and-a-half weeks to go before the big kick-off at Preston, Jackett says Hennessey still has a chance of being available for the trip to Deepdale to battle it out for the starting spot with Carl Ikeme and Aaron McCarey.
“Time-wise if all goes well between now and then if he is not ready then it will be shortly after,” he said.
“We are not looking at a long-term project here but it very much depends on how he feels after the games.
“I will assess it and it will be close for that period.”
Kevin Foley was also missing last night with an ankle injury, but Jackett is hoping a series of injections will clearly clear up that problem.
“Foley has an ankle injury,” he explained.
“I think he is going to have a series of injections.
“I don’t think it will be anything long-term but something we want to put a stop to in pre-season so that when the games come around he will be o-k.
“Things sometimes flare up particularly on the hard grounds so you can maybe miss a game or two but then by the time the third one comes around I think he’ll be ok.”