Ashbee - I'm raring to go
Hull City captain Ian Ashbee expects to lead his team out on the opening day of the new season.
Last Updated: 28/06/10 1:09pm
Hull City captain Ian Ashbee expects to lead his team out on the opening day of the new season following his side's relegation to the Championship.
Ashbee was skipper of the team that came up under Phil Brown two seasons ago, and after staying up in their first campaign in the Premier League, the Tigers were sent back down with the 33-year-old a helpless onlooker from the sidelines.
The defender was out for over a year with cruciate ligament damage, with his last game coming in May 2009 against Aston Villa, but he insists he is 'raring to go' and is targeting a full role in the club's pre-season preparations.
"Everything is fine with the knee, I'm very happy with it," Ashbee told the Hull Daily Mail.
"It's a very big pre-season for me and I've got no intention of missing any of it.
"In my head I fully envisage being ready for the first game of the season. I intend to be raring to go by August 7.
"I look at it like I've had a year out of football and I feel like I'm owed a year back now."
Ashbee has had to deal with several injury setbacks during a career that has seen him rise up from the fourth tier of the football league through to the top in eight years.
Two major operations on his knee in five years has been debilitating, but the former Cambridge United centre-back is determined to make up for lost time and prove that a gruelling return to fitness has all been worth it.
"Pre-season is important for any footballer and I don't want to miss a day," said Ashbee.
"Malts (physio Simon Maltby) and Rushie (fitness conditioner Sean Rush) might have other ideas and they might have to rein me in.
"I've been back at the training ground in the last week doing little bits to bulk up the leg. The muscle around the knee needs building up again but that will come.
"All being well, I'll be doing the same as everyone else during pre-season. It'll be an important month for me.
"It might be a case where we have to manage it for the first two or three weeks but doing six weeks at the end of last season, there was no reaction."