We are here for Neil, says Laudrup
MICHAEL Laudrup has told Neil Taylor to use the "sadness" prompted by his season-ending injury to drive him on in his fight to return to action.
Taylor was due to leave hospital today after five days of treatment on his crumpled ankle to begin the next stage of a lengthy rehabilitation period.
The Swansea City star had successful surgery after dislocating the ankle and breaking it in three places following a challenge on Craig Gardner during last weekend's draw with Sunderland.
Now Taylor faces a long battle to get back to fitness, with Swansea admitting he is unlikely to play again before 2013-14.
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"If there is something positive we can say about the injury, and that is difficult of course, it is that Neil is young and he will come back," Laudrup said.
"Maybe saying that now does not help him much, but I think further on, after a couple of weeks, he will use the sadness he feels now to really come back and fight again.
"Neil is a professional footballer at the highest level and he is a fighter. That's very important."
Taylor has been a revelation at Swansea since joining from non-league Wrexham in the summer of 2010.
Having begun his first season at the club on the bench, he quickly forced his way into Brendan Rodgers's side and played his part in promotion to the Premier League.
The ex-Manchester City schoolboy took the step up to the top flight in his stride, and had established himself as Wales's first-choice left-back before injury struck.
Taylor's remarkable progress has now been halted, and his absence is a heavy blow for Swansea as they set out on their second top-flight adventure.
But Laudrup insists Taylor will still be part of the squad as he attempts to regain full fitness.
"Lots of people will have gone to see Neil this week, but he needs to know that we will be there for him not just for one or two weeks but in the long months ahead when he is recuperating," said the Swansea manager.
"I think he has to come to the training ground as often as he can so he feels as if he is really part of this team.
"When you have an injury like this, you have to go and train apart from everyone else and suddenly you feel very alone.
"But Neil has to know that he can come to the training ground whenever he wants and that he is part of the team.
"We will be here for him the whole time — that's important to know as a player."