YASER Kasim has admitted his frustration at missing several days of pre-season with a foot injury, as he bids to get into a “rhythm” for the start of the new campaign.
The Swindon Town midfielder did not feature in either of the trips to Petersfield and Eastleigh last week after suffering nerve damage but returned to the Robins’ line-up for the 1-0 defeat to Southampton at the County Ground on Monday.
Kasim stressed that he is in much less pain following an injection on Friday but he couldn’t hide his irritation at seeing his build-up to the League One term broken up by the knock.
“It was just an impact injury where the pressure was on the top of the foot and the nerve got inflamed. I got injected on Friday and I’m back to normal now. It’s not going to sort it out long-term but I’ve just got to look after it and hope it doesn’t inflame,” he said.
“It was just one injection and it had an anaesthetic to take the size of the nerve down. I don’t feel the pain any more.
“It was a little bit frustrating because I want to play game after game and training session after training session and get that rhythm. Players are playing in different positions and you want to get rhythm in your own position so when it comes to the season you can jump straight into it.”
The Iraqi international was used as a sweeper by Town manager Mark Cooper in the loss to the Saints and, while he’d be happier playing in a more familiar role in midfield, Kasim is willing to do what’s necessary to help the team.
“I’m always comfortable playing football. I played the whole season last season in midfield and I want to push on and have a very good season in midfield. In the last 10 minutes (against Southampton) I played a bit further forward and came into my own a bit more,” he said. “It’s just a tough situation at the moment. What can you do?
“I need to do what’s good for me and what’s right for me to be ready for the season and help the team. That’s all you can do at the moment.”
Finally, Kasim would applaud the signing of Jack Stephens, should the Southampton defender arrive in Wiltshire on loan, with negotiations continuing over recent days.
He said: “He was a good player when he came for the last part of last season. We need a strong squad, that’s for sure.
“The players are playing really well but things can change within a week so we need that competitive edge.”