FORMER Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon hopes to finally return to playing in the coming season.
A patella tendon problem has seen the former £9million man play just one match in the last two years – and he spent the second half of last season helping coach Scottish First Division club Dumbarton.
Gordon has left his Dumbarton role and he said: “I’m going to focus on myself, take care of my knee and look after that the best I can to see if there is any possibility I can do some work with it.
“Coaching can wait – I’m only 30, it’s not as if I need to be diving into it now.
“I may look to go into a club sometime next season, but only if I feel it’s going to be of benefit, and only when I’m ready.
“At some point, the sharpness and the quickness of movement will have to come into it – you can’t do that stuff by yourself so I’ll have to commit to that if I want to get back to any kind of level.
“That won’t happen overnight, it will take weeks, maybe months – but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
“I’ve had calls to see if I’m available for next season, but until I know what state I’m in I don’t want to go and let anybody down, sign as one of their keepers then not be able to play for a whole season.
“That’s something that wouldn’t weigh very well on my conscience. I’d rather wait and make sure I could contribute.
“I don’t want to let myself down by going back too early, and going back just to earn some money is something that doesn’t interest me at all.
“If I manage to get back I want to play football. That’s all I’d be interested in.”
Regarding the injury, the 40-times capped Scotland international, who left Sunderland after the expiry of his five-year contract in 2012, added: “I’ve chucked every treatment at it, gone down every possible route I could have gone down.
“There are a few injections left to try, which I will, over the next few months. I’ve been back to see the surgeon in Sweden. He scanned it again and agreed it’s looking better.
“But another surgery isn’t an option as I’d be looking at another six-to-nine months again, so basically ruling out another full season, and there’s only so long you can keep doing that.”
H Former Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes – who has rejected a new contract offer at Celtic – is reportedly interesting Leeds United, who have already signed Oldham forward Matt Smith and are also keen on Wolves’ Kevin Doyle.