Benik Afobe is hoping he has time to give Bristol City’s Championship play-off push a timely push as he steps up his rehabilitation.
Afobe has been ruled out with an ACL problem since the end of August, having scored three in five appearances at the start of a season-long loan from Stoke City , with a view to a permanent move.
And he posted an update on Instagram today with the caption detailing that it was his first pitch session back as he continues his recovery.
Bristol City teammate Tommy Rowe said this afternoon: “He’s great. It’s a great boost for the team and the club. My personal opinion is that he loves to play football. He’s infectious.”
Afobe, aged 27, has been working with former Arsenal physio Ray Lewin to build his fitness. had already become a crowd favourite – and enhanced his standing by turning up in the away end for a 1-0 win at Queens Park Rangers earlier this month.
Lee Johnson told BristolLive last week: “I wouldn’t expect any sort of Afobe in a matchday shirt yet but what that shows you is he’s ready to upgrade his training a little bit on the grass and in the gym.
“That’s really positive, both as a lad, good to get him back, he’s been a positive supporter of the boys, and it will be great to see him.
“Even better to see him out on the grass and training hopefully in the not too distant future.”
Bristol City brought in Nahki Wells for £5m from Burnley last month and currently sit seventh, three points adrift of Preston North End in the final play-off spot.
But they have lost their last three and four of their last five – to Huddersfield, West Brom, Leeds and Birmingham City. They take on top six rivals Millwall on Saturday.
Johnson added: “He really enjoys it here, he really enjoys the environment and wants to get back into it as soon as possible.
“Both on and off the pitch, Benik can be really effective for us in the run-in.”