DANNY Hollands is set to spend six weeks on the sidelines recovering from a microfracture in his foot, but Paolo Di Canio intends to keep him at Swindon Town.
As revealed by the Advertiser on Wednesday, Hollands' injury - sustained during the 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury last weekend - is not as bad as was first feared, but the Charlton man will still need several weeks to make a full recovery.
Initially Di Canio had feared the midfielder could be ruled out for 10 weeks, and therefore looked on news of a likely six-week absense in a positive light.
The Italian is confident he will have the financial flexibility to extend Hollands' loan deal when it expires on February 2 and therefore he has committed to rehabilitating the 27-year-old as though "he was a Swindon Town player".
“Now we can say something more because he has had three different moments with the specialist. He had an X-ray and then a scan and now it is clear. They reckon in six weeks he can come back and play," he said.
“It means for one month he can’t run, he can’t for the first two weeks even put the foot down but he can start from today to work in the pool with Claudio and try to maintain his fitness level as high as he can.
“He can have a very long session every day and then after one month he can start running. After he starts running it is a minimum of two or three weeks. That can happen with 10 games to go for us.
“You want to know what’s going on, if I’m going to keep him. My intention is to keep him like if he’s a Swindon Town player because I am sure that, even if I had a chance to buy another player and in this moment it is difficult to get something that you want, I thought that if something doesn’t go really wrong I can handle the situation for six weeks.
“I can try to keep in a play-off place and stay nearly there if we don’t sink completely. Then with 10 games to go we have a player who knows what’s going on in here, who knows how to play with me. He’s proved that he is a good player and an important player.
“After we discovered that it was a microfracture and the second one confirmed what the first specialist said, that it was six weeks to be ready to play, it was a positive.
“At the beginning, when I heard that there was a chance of eight to 10 weeks, it’s clear that it was difficult for me - especially with the situation we’ve got - to think to keep him. We’d have him back for the last week of the season and I don’t know if it’s enough.
"The fact that the time was reduced by two or three weeks means a lot, especially because if we go step by step without making mistakes in terms of rehabilitation we know it will take six weeks. There is not any doubt about this.
“It’s more than positive. I tried to check the fixtures and when he comes back, if everything is okay, we have 10 games to play which is the main part of the season if nothing goes completely wrong in the next six games."