Luton chief unsure when O'Kane will be fit for the Hatters

Midfielder hasn't played since suffering serious leg injury in September 2018

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 5:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 5:18 pm
Eunan O'Kane in his last spell with the Hatters

Luton chief Graeme Jones is unsure when midfielder Eunan O’Kane will be ready for first team action this season, but won't be rushing him back ahead of schedule.

The 29-year-old joined on an 18-month agreement from Leeds United this afternoon, meaning he will be at Kenilworth Road until the summer of 2021.

O’Kane hasn’t kicked a ball competitively since his last stint with Town though, suffering a horrific double leg break during the 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers on September 15, 2018.

Although the injury is no longer a concern, Jones hasn’t put a date on when he will be fit enough to be included, saying: “We are assessing him, he’s had the all clear from the specialist, so functionally, he’s absolutely fine.

“Now we need to get him into the stage where he’s robust.

"That comes from working in the gym, training out here, trying to prepare his body, making sure we prepare it in a sensible way so he doesn’t get re-injured.

"We’ve got to get to work with him, our medical team and our sports science team and get him up and running as one thing you can’t question with him is his pedigree

“We’ll have to check bio-mechanics and build him up, that can take two weeks, three weeks, but it might be for a 10 minute role, a 20 minute role, or it might be to start a game.

“It might take six weeks or eight weeks, but he’s our player for 18 months, so we’re not working for someone else here, we’re working for the benefit of our football club.

"We're delighted to have him, he's worth it, the pedigree and the talent of the player, now he needs a home, he needs looking after.

“I'm not saying that he hasn't previously, but we’ll do that here, that's the one thing I can guarantee and when we get him fit, we'll have a top player.”

Although Jones wasn’t in charge when the Republic of Ireland midfielder was first with Luton, he has already been impressed by his new recruit, adding: “We’ve got him in on an 18 month arrangement, which is good for the long term as well.

“He’s played at every level of the game and he seems like a wonderful boy.

“I think everybody else knows him better than I do, I had a meeting with him today and was really impressed by his character and commitment to this club, which is a big thing.

“He’s not coming in blinded, he knows what the club is, but he loves the club.

“It’s amazing the contact, that he’s always felt wanted here and understood, that was a big factor.”