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Juke - I understand what Kieft is going through

Lukas Jutkiewicz and Maikel Kieftenbeld.
Lukas Jutkiewicz and Maikel Kieftenbeld.

He's going to have highs and lows through his rehab - it's a long one. But ultimately, he's got the right mentality.

Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Lukas Jutkiewicz says he empathises with what his friend and teammate Maikel Kieftenbeld is going through following the Dutch midfielder's recent serious knee injury.

Kieftenbeld is set to go undergo surgery on Monday after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 1-0 victory over Leeds United last weekend.

And as a player that has suffered the same injury himself, Jutkiewicz is fully aware of the challenges that Kieftenbeld will face in getting back to full fitness.

"I spoke to Kief after the game on Saturday, I am really close with him, it's an injury I have suffered myself, so I know to a certain degree what he is going through at the moment," said Jutkiewicz.

"I had to make sure he knew he has got the full backing of everyone in the squad, and everything he needs we are going to make sure we provide him with.

"He's going to have highs and lows through his rehab - it's a long one. But ultimately, he's got the right mentality.

"We will be here for him and do everything we can to make sure his recovery is as quick as possible.

"If there's one thing he has shown more than perhaps anyone over the years, on the pitch, whenever he pulls a shirt on, commitment is everything to him and he will show the same in his rehabilitation."

In Kieftenbeld's absence against Sheffield United last night, David Davis started in the centre of midfield.

And Davis is another player that has only recently returned to action following his own long-term recovery from an ankle injury.

"Those two guys (Kieftenbeld and Davis) epitomise what we are about, they have got a huge amount of heart, they are team players, they want to give everything they have for the cause," added Jutkiewicz.

"We were all devastated for Kief, he has been a huge part of what we are trying to do since he has been here. He is going to be a massive loss for us.

"But he is a strong character and I know he will come back stronger.

"It's an opportunity for Digga to come back in and fill that void."

Having taken four points from their last two games against promotion-chasing Leeds United and Sheffield United, Blues now head to Ipswich Town on Saturday aiming for the points that will edge them closer to safety.

"We are looking to pick up points from every game we play in, Saturday is no different, every game in this league is really tough," said Jutkiewicz.

"We had to fight really hard against them at our place to come back from 2-0 down to get a point. It is going to be a difficult one.

"They are obviously wanting to put in performances and pick up points in front of their fans and give them something to cheer about in what has been a tough season for them.

"But we are looking to pick up points in every game we play."

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