O’s coach Embleton hoping to determine how far McAnuff is away from a return

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 January 2020

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff attempts to tackle an AFC Fylde opponent during the FA Trophy final (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff attempts to tackle an AFC Fylde opponent during the FA Trophy final (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton hopes they will soon be able to determine if they can get Jobi McAnuff back on the pitch.

The 38-year-old has not featured this season due to injury but remains part of the playing and coaching staff having been interim coach during both of Embleton's stints in temporary charge.

He now has the permanent title of coach under newly-appointed Embleton although they will be hoping he can still feature as a player.

"He has run for the last couple of weeks, there is a machine I always remember it from when I was at Spurs that Ledley King used to rely on a lot, unfortunately I don't remember the whole name for it," Embleton said.

"It basically helps you understand the weight you can bear on your injury and elevate you off the floor, you can set it so 40 per cent of your body is being carried or impacting while you're running.

"I know they've increased that for Jobi closer to full weight bearing, so we're hoping in the next couple of weeks that he'll be able to get outside and start running a lot more, being around the football more.

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"That will really begin to tell us where he is, how near or how far he is from being back out on the pitch."

The former Reading and Crystal Palace midfielder was crucial to the O's winning the National League title last term and Embleton knows they miss his impact and influence out on the pitch.

He added: "We miss how big an impact he is on the pitch, he along with a lot of other players last year got us over the line.

"You saw his presence, getting him out there for 50, 60 or 70 minutes even at Wembley for 65 minutes, he was so important.

"Losing someone like that it's clear you can't replace them from within, but it's hard to replace him from outside, especially when we thought we'd have him back a lot earlier in the season.

"He has fantastic quality, at the same time as well it's the impact he has on people, he has an impression on referees, people around him, and Jobi McAnuff has played in the Premier League for some of the best clubs around so has a massive affect on the game.

"That's not even thinking the way he is as a guy and how good he is as a footballer, he's presence is a massive lift to people."

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