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Influential Watford midfielder Almen Abdi 'turning a corner' in his prolonged comeback from injury
Almen Abdi appears to be "turning a corner" in his rehabilitation from an on-going foot problem, according to head coach Gianfranco Zola.
Abdi has not featured for Watford since August 31 and initial hopes he would return in mid-September and then late October were diminished with recurrences of the foot injury.
Watford's head of medical Marco Cesarini explained on October 31 that the club would not be able to set a deadline for the 27-year-old's return due to the nature of the problem.
But the player has been training with the rest of the squad since Thursday and although he had a minor problem yesterday, Zola is pleased with the Swiss international's progress.
Speaking at last night's fans' forum at Vicarage Road, Zola said: "Abdi has been training with the team regularly. He trained today, Friday and Thursday and everything seems to be going well. Today he had a little something but it is looking very good.
"Hopefully we are turning a corner which is great news considering the importance and the influence he has on the team.
"We will need to see tomorrow but it is looking good."
Abdi is suffering with Plantar Fasciitis, which has resulted in the inflammation of his plantar.
The plantar fascia is a tough and flexible band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot and connects the heel bone with the bones of the foot, acting as a kind of shock absorber to the foot.
The problem can occur through sudden damage or over months and years. It can cause tiny tears to develop inside the tissue of the plantar fascia and this can lead to it thickening, resulting in heel pain, and the surrounding tissue and heel bone can also sometimes become inflamed.
In October, Cesarini explained: "The normal population can deal with this sort of problem but for players their feet are obviously very important.
"So we are not in the position to give a time frame for a return because it is the kind of injury which does settle down in periods.
"This kind of injury is down to the response from the treatment we do. A treatment that can heal a player in two weeks may not do anything for another."
He continued: "We have to manage the situation. It is frustrating for the player and for us because everyone wants to have all the players on the pitch.
"That is what they are paid to do and they want to play, so that is why it can be frustrating.
"But we are also optimistic and very positive because Almen is very professional and having treatment every day.
"He is very committed and we also have to thank the medical department because they are doing a fantastic job."
There will be more from the fans' forum uploaded in the coming days.
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