Watford's head of medical admits the club are unable to put a time frame on Almen Abdi’s return from injury but stressed he is “optimistic and very positive” about the influential midfielder’s recovery.

Abdi has not played since August 31 due to a foot injury and initial hopes he would return in mid-September and then last weekend were ended when he suffered minor set backs.

Marco Cesarini, the Hornets’ head of medical, confirmed 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.

Abdi took part in training last week and head coach Gianfranco Zola had hoped the midfielder would be fit to return to the bench against Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday but he suffered a set back on the Sunday.

Cesarini sat down with the Watford Observer yesterday (Thursday) afternoon to explain the injury and Abdi’s recovery.

He said: “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.

“We are now happy with the situation because Almen is much better than ten days ago. He was able to take part in part of the training session last week which is good but because we don’t have the indication or signal, players can go through the pain and then they will have a small set back.

“So we will 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.”

Nyron Nosworthy played for the first time in seven months on Wednesday but Cesarini said the defender’s ruptured Achilles is easier to treat than Abdi’s foot problem.

He said: “If you look at Nyron it was easier to treat him because we had an idea of the objective marks.

“With Abdi the pain is subjective; he feels the pain. His scan one month ago showed inflammation but it was minimal. He feels better but he is not in the position to train with the squad because we have to make sure the healing process is complete.

“So it is frustrating for the player and for us because we have to wait and be patient.

“If you have a green light then you just go but at the moment with Abdi it is flashing yellow.

“We are very optimistic he will be back but we are not in the position to say when. I will be very happy when he plays and I hope it will be soon. But we are not in position to say when.”

Some players have been out for most of a season with similar problems but when that was highlighted, Cesarini replied: “At this moment we do not think the player will be out for the rest of the season. We have spoken with the specialist and they have said we have done the right things.

“The player is also getting better so we have to wait and be careful on the load of the training sessions.”

Abdi is the club’s current player of the year and his absence has hampered the Hornets.

However, the performances of Sean Murray have softened the blow for Zola.

The head coach said: “Almen is an influential player because he can give you goals and he is also very good at keeping the ball because he is intelligent. So he is very important to the team. At the moment he is struggling and I feel for him because he is frustrated that he is not playing.

”Luckily we have another player at the moment who is performing very well in Sean Murray, who has been outstanding so far.”