BILLY Kee has been battling to overcome damaged knee ligaments this summer – but should be fit for the new season.
The 23-year-old striker hurt his knee when he hit the advertising hoardings during Burton Albion’s play-off semi-final second leg win at Southend.
He finished the match – and played at Wembley as the Brewers lost 1-0 to Fleetwood – but the damage was then discovered.
“He’s okay but he played in the final when he wasn’t quite right,” said Albion boss Gary Rowett.
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“We didn’t realise at the time, but he’s had his knee in a brace over the summer as a precaution.
“He’s started running with the team in the last couple of weeks and isn’t too far off getting back into it.”
Fortunately for Albion, the injury does not seem too serious and should not hit Kee’s pre-season preparations.
Last season, a damaged thigh muscle affected the end of his summer programme, while the season before Burton’s star striker was still recovering from a groin operation as the campaign began.
“A couple of times he’s just struggled with one or two injuries in pre-season,” said Rowett.
“It’s an important time for every player to get fit.
“If you look at the likes of Adam McGurk, last summer he didn’t get a full pre-season under his belt with going on trial to different clubs before signing for us.
“He’s come back in terrific shape this summer and will feel the benefit of that.
“It’s important for Billy to get the right conditioning, as it is for every player.
“Hopefully he will get that in and any player, whether it’s Billy Kee, or Adam McGurk, or anyone, can get fitter and stronger with a good pre-season.
“All players need that base for the season to come.”