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Gillingham midfielder Alex MacDonald turns family holiday into training camp as he steps up his recovery from knee injury

Alex MacDonald’s eagerness to return fit for pre-season means his family holiday doubled up as a training camp.

A serious knee injury had been career-threatening for the 32-year-old Gillingham midfielder, but he’s been working his way back to fitness, keen to show there are more seasons to come.

Alex MacDonald made just seven league appearances in 2021/22. Picture: Andy Jones
Alex MacDonald made just seven league appearances in 2021/22. Picture: Andy Jones

Boss Neil Harris hopes to have him back on June 22, when the players return from their summer breaks. It remains a realistic target for MacDonald and the player is doing all he can to make it happen.

“He is on a training camp at the moment,” said boss Harris during the week. “It’s a family holiday and part training camp!

“Alex went away with a bit-between-his-teeth mindset and he knows that for the best opportunity for him to be fit for July 30 (the start of the season) he needs to be on the start line for June 22.

“He is working extremely hard and for Alex, because of his age and the way his shape is, it is not just about legs and physicality, it is about body management as well.”

MacDonald last played competitively eight months ago, at Wycombe. Injury restricted him to just seven league appearances in 2021/22.

Harris added: “He has been out a hell of a long time and he had a tough period as well, including trying to help Steve Lovell run a football club for a few weeks [as caretaker assistant manager].

“He has worked extremely hard and because of the amount of time he had on crutches we are just managing to get him in physical shape. We perceive him to be progressing well and we would love to have him on the start line on June 22 and ultimately fit on July 30.

“If he is not fit on the 30th but very close to it then we would be absolutely delighted because he is a super player, especially at this level.

“He is a big part of the dressing room, a good leader in the dressing room, popular among the boys and liked by the staff.”

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