More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Artero in surprise return to Dens Park

http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/sport.cfm?id=115921

October 2001
Dick Donnelly

DUNDEE’S Javier Artero took a remarkable step to full recovery yesterday when he made a surprise return to training yesterday, having driven to Scotland from his Madrid home.

The Dens Park player looked to be lost for a lengthy period when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two months ago. However, the determined Spaniard pledged at the time to battle the disease, and fulfilled that promise when joining yesterday’s preparations for today’s clash at Dunfermline.

His return is ahead of schedule, and Artero’s progress will be carefully monitored. "I have a fitness plan worked out with both Ivano and Dario Bonetti and will do things gradually," he admitted.

"But I will not be rushing things. I will see how I feel, but honestly do not think that I will have a problem."

Dundee will be without play-maker Giorgi Nemsadze for the trip to Dunfermline as he has been ruled out for three months with a knee injury. But striker Juan Sara is nearing fitness and could return against the Pars, who have lost their last seven Scottish Premier League games.

Lee Wilkie is back at the club but manager Bonetti, who is chasing Crystal Palace’s Chinese international Fan Zhiyi, has refused to restore him to the first-team pool.

Dunfermline manager Jimmy Calderwood insists he is under no pressure whatsoever despite his side’s dramatic decline. Managerless Motherwell have leapfrogged them and only St Johnstone, with new boss Billy Stark in charge, are below.

But when asked if he was under any pressure, Calderwood’s reply was short and emphatic. He said: "None whatsoever."

Calderwood added: "We’re remaining confident now because we’re a good team, although we’re not showing it at the moment."

He watched his side suffer yet another defeat at the hands of First Division Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the CIS Insurance Cup on Tuesday.

Dundee United were last night handed a pre-match boost prior to this afternoon’s SPL meeting with Hibernian, when midfielder Craig Easton put pen to paper in a new improved deal.

In signing the freshly negotiated contract, which ties him to the club until 2004, Easton becomes the latest product of the Tannadice youth system to pledge his future with the Tangerines.

The Airdrie-born 22-year-old has been at Tannadice since 1995, and broke into the first team at the age of 17, under former boss Tommy McLean.

Easton’s existing contract had been due to expire this month, and although informal negotiations had been ongoing, the serious business was completed without a hitch.

Meanwhile, Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock has handed his son the opportunity to earn a contract at the Britannia Stadium following his release from Dundee United.

The youngster was among six players freed by Tannadice boss Alex Smith on Thursday. And he will now head to the Nationwide Division 3 side on a six-week trial in a bid to win himself a deal.