Southampton's Toby Alderweireld hails 'inspiring' 12-month injury victim Jay Rodriguez

The Belgian defender has revealed his respect for the England international, who is approaching a year out of the game.

Southampton were recently boosted by the return to fitness of key defender Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian, who is currently on loan from Atletico Madrid, had been out of action for two months after picking up a muscular injury against Manchester United.

He returned against Chelsea at the weekend and put in a formidable performance at the heart of the Saints defence.

Whilst on the sidelines he of course got plenty of time to hang out with some of the more permanent members of the treatment room club. Including England international Jay Rodriguez.

And Alderweireld is clearly impressed by the way J-Rod is getting on with his recovery. Speaking to the official Southampton YouTube channel the defender said:

"I’m lucky. I have never really had an injury of like six months or something like Jay [Rodriguez]. I have a lot of respect for him because it would be the worst thing to happen.

"But he is working very hard every day, and my respects to him.

"It’s mentally hard two months, but if you see like Jay, I have a lot of respect for him because it is so tough for him.

"It is a little bit inspiring because he is doing great and he is having a very tough time, working very hard and never complains. He is doing good."

Last season it looked as though Rodriguez was making a late surge to be part of the England team for the World Cup in Brazil.

The former Burnley star was in sensational form, scoring 17 goals by the end of March, when disaster struck.

He suffered a serious knee injury against Manchester City on the 5th April last year, nearly a year ago, and has not played since. The England international was originally scheduled to be back before the New Year but he has suffered setbacks in his recovery and at this rate, it will be a surprise if he makes it back before the end of the season.

But it sounds as though he is taking the recovery in good spirits and Southampton fans can surely hope to see him in the 2015-16 season.

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