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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ben Doak gives new fitness update after knee injury ended season in December

Ben Doak “can’t wait to get back kicking a ball” having rejoined full training after knee surgery in December, as he eyes a place at Euro 2024 with Scotland.

Doak has not played a minute of football since undergoing surgery to repair his MCL at the end of last year, but he is part of Scotland’s provisional squad for Euro 2024.

That underlines the belief in the 18-year-old’s ability as a potential game-changer at the tournament in Germany, though his place in the final group is not yet guaranteed.

He will first be hoping to make an impact in friendlies against Gibraltar (Monday) and Finland (Friday), which would mark his return from long-term injury.

Speaking in an interview for the Scotland national team’s YouTube channel, Doak gave an insight into his recovery.

“I was training on my own for a while, just desperate to get back in, but the physios just told me ‘look, you’re not ready, take your time, you’ll be in when we think you’re in your best shape’,” he explained.

“I went back into training last week of the season, so I’ve been training for maybe two or three weeks now and I feel great. I just can’t wait to get back kicking a ball.”

Doak added: “Before I got the injury I played a fair few games [for the first team], I got my first starts.

“It was pretty difficult for young players to get into the squad at that time.

“Obviously as the season went on all the young lads at Liverpool started to do well, scoring a few goals here and there, so it was gutting to see that.

“But when I got injured I just kind of put [the Euros] to the back of my head, I wasn’t expecting to even be back fit in time. But here I am!”

2T1GCCT Fir Park, Motherwell, UK. 13th Oct, 2023. UEFA Under-21 Euro 2025 Qualifier Football, Scotland U21s versus Hungary U21s; Ben Doak of Scotland Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

The teenager’s chances of making the final squad took a bittersweet boost on Saturday when striker Lyndon Dykes was ruled out of the Euros after suffering an injury in training.

Manager Steve Clarke now only has one player to cut from the 27 currently training, though there is also a chance that U21s forward Tommy Conway is called up.

Doak appears likely to make the plane to Germany, however, and believes he gained vital experience in his five outings with Liverpool in the campaign just gone.

“Us being in the Europa League really helped,” he reflected.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks with Ben Doak after the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I started in the League Cup, I did decent there, then two or three Europa League games, did decent in those.

“There was one or two where I was just OK, but it was good to learn what it’s like to play away in Europe.

“It’s a lot tougher than what you think, but that’s only going to get you better as a player anyway. It was a really good experience and it was good to get a few games under my belt.”

The deadline for nations to submit their final squads for Euro 2024 is June 7.