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Rory McArdle fighting to be fit for Bradford City at cup final
Rory McArdle is staying open-minded about his chances of making Wembley.
City are pulling out all the stops to get their versatile defender back in time for the Capital One Cup final a week tomorrow.
McArdle has been sidelined for a fortnight since injuring his ankle in the first half at Fleetwood. But intensive treatment with medical team Matt Barrass and Chris Royston has raised the chances of a quick recovery.
The Northern Ireland international refuses to give up but remains philosophical about lining up against Swansea.
“Each day so far it’s been a lot better but I don’t really know if I’ll be ready,” he said.
“If I do make it, that will be a relief. If I don’t, I will be gutted but it’s one of those things.
“If there are any problems and Matt says it’s not worth risking it, then I’ll have to accept it.
“But Matt and Chris are doing everything they can. I’m getting treatment twice a day and hopefully all their hard work will pay off.”
McArdle had played more minutes than anyone else in the squad until he was forced to hobble off at Highbury.
After initial fears about the severity of the problem, the swelling had subsided by the following morning.
A scan at the end of last week still suggested there could be more serious damage. But that did not stack up with how McArdle was feeling and a specialist confirmed that he was on the mend.
The defender said: “The scan came back saying the injury was a grade three, which was a torn ligament. That’s the worst-case scenario.
“But Matt was adamant it didn’t feel like that when he checked and I wasn’t in any pain.
“We saw the specialist and luckily he agreed and was happy with how stable the ankle was.
“I’ve been in the gym, on the cross trainer, on the trampoline and started straight-line running again on Thursday morning. I’m slowly getting there.
“If I keep on top of it then hopefully it won’t get any worse and by next week I can get back into training.
“The final is a once in a lifetime opportunity but just to miss games in general is hard.
“But Tuesday was a great result because the league form’s not been what it should be. I see no reason why we can’t get another win at Wimbledon and then that sets us up nicely for an enjoyable week before Wembley.”