Everton defender Luke Garbutt is working himself back into match fitness after suffering ligament damage during the preseason. The 22-year-old is on loan at Fulham this year after signing a five-year extension over the summer. He was expected to be the club's starting left back and gain valuable experience at the Championship level. However he went down with the injury in Fulham's last match of the preseason against Crystal Palace.
Garbutt stated that it was a 90% rupture and that originally they expected him to be out six to eight weeks. He ended up being out of service until the end of the eighth week and he is still working on recovering. He has returned to the Fulham lineup and has found some sporadic play time and continues to have his ankle wrapped; something he does not care for.
As far as his time in the Championship is concerned, the player admits that the competition is not up to what he has seen in the Premier League but the amount of work is heavier:
"The Championship is Tuesday-Saturday Tuesday-Saturday,"
"It's very much game after game after game, it's relentless.
"The quality lacks at times but they are very honest players in this league.
"They play with a lot of energy, they're strong, have pace but tend to lack a little bit of quality in the final third and in possession but it's a learning curve for myself.
In addition to overcoming the ankle injury, Garbutt must also win his spot back. Fulham signed James Husband from Middlesborough on a one-month deal but then extended him through the middle of December. Throwing another wrench into the situation is that Fulham recently fired their manager, Kit Symons. These will represent some additional challenges for the youngster but ones that someone of his caliber should easily be able to overcome.