Shandon Baptiste
OXFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Shandon Baptiste of Oxford United during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Oxford United and Manchester City at Kassam Stadium on September 25, 2018 in Oxford, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

The recovery of Oxford United’s Shandon Baptiste from injury is ahead of schedule and he is likely to participate in pre-season.

The midfielder, who began the season brightly, has suffered two long-term injuries this campaign.

Shandon Baptiste Passed Fit Ahead of Pre-Season

Proud History, Bright Future

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes at Oxford, with the construction of a new training ground and wealthy board members, but the youth that is coming through the system is also a big positive.

None more so than Shandon Baptiste. The 21-year-old midfielder exploded onto the scene this season, putting in some big performances to impress the manager and fans alike.

Baptiste featured just nine times for the U’s this season, and also received a red card in a 2-1 home defeat against Luton Town.

As well, captained the side in the U’s 3-0 defeat at home in the Carabao Cup against eventual winners Manchester City.

However, after missing eleven weeks with a dislocated shoulder, the youngster then ruptured his cruciate ligaments just six minutes into his comeback appeance.

Having already progressed ahead of schedule, Karl Robinson could see the youngster return in time for pre-season.

Baptiste told the Oxford Mail: “In a bad situation they said it was a good time to get injured because I can play the majority of next season and I’d be able to do a lot of work with the team in pre-season.

“Hopefully I’ll be running and doing some of the sessions with the team. To do that will just make me a bit happier and it will seem like the injury is moving a bit quicker.

“Over the summer I’m in three or four times a week just to keep on top of the work and keep improving.

“To be fair I don’t mind because I want to be ready for next season. I will do anything I can to help that, so my summer is going to be a bit busy.”

Mental Attitude on Oxford Injury List

Baptiste also added that being sidelined was difficult, but having company in the likes of Jon Obika and Rob Hall made things easier.

He said: “Beeks (Obika) and Hally being out with the same injury really helped me to stay positive and keep working hard.

“Without them there would have been some long days. Even now I’ve got some long days ahead of me, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Jordan Graham was a big help because every day he would come into the physio room and ask me how my knee was feeling.

“Whatever I replied he had been through it before (in 2016) and gave some advice, so he was a really big help. He was out for 14 months but has just played a whole Season. It shows if you do everything properly you can come back stronger.”

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