Sidelined England keeper Ben Foster has revealed he is training with Olympian Jonny Brownlee to recover from a serious knee injury.
The West Brom star joined the Olympic triathlon bronze medallist on Monday to continue his rehab from a damaged cruciate knee ligament.
He is also cycling from London to Paris next week and has used his time with Brownlee, who won bronze at London 2012 behind gold medallist brother Alistair, to prepare for the Cure Leukaemia charity ride.
Foster has been out since March when he suffered his third cruciate knee ligament injury but believes the help from Brownlee has been invaluable.
“I was up in Leeds yesterday with Jonny, we did a 60k ride and it was a really good opportunity to learn a few things,” he told Press Association Sport.
“I think he took it easy on me. The average pace was about 26 or 27 kilometres an hour which isn’t too bad but some of the hills were hard.
“He found things super easy but it was nice to get out and learn a few tips, stuff you wouldn’t know like energy saving and how to ride in a group.
“One of the physios here used to work for Team GB and knows him from there so he pulled a few strings.
“The club have said once I’ve finished the ride I need to start lowering the amount I’m doing. I really do have to focus on gym-based work to strengthen but for now it’s perfect for my rehab because there isn’t any impact on my knees.”
Foster is hopeful of returning by October but insisted his extra training for the 500k ride to Paris will not see him back for the Baggies any earlier.
“You’ve got to do the six-month stint, when you do your cruciate it’s a six-months rehab minimum, you can’t come back any earlier than that,” he said.
“October is the six-and-a-half month mark so it’s a realistic target and so far there’s been no set-backs and I’m pushing it hard with the extra load I’m doing on the bike. Touch wood we’re on course.”
The 32-year-old has raised almost £5,000 for Cure Leukaemia so far after being invited on the ride by former Wolves and England midfielder Geoff Thomas.
Ex-midfielder Thomas was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003 and was given three months to live but has been in remission since 2005 and has been a major fundraiser for the charity.
And Foster is eager to start the four-day trip, which begins at Greenwich Park next Thursday.
“Everything I do I try to push it a bit more. I know sitting on the bike for four to six hours on the trot for four days is going to absolutely kill you,” he said.
“I’ve never done anything like this in my life and I don’t want to be found out and get three hours in and say ‘I’m going to have to get off’.
“I’ve done over 200k in the last few days and I feel all right so when I comes to the ride I’ve got a bit of energy.”
To sponsor Ben please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/BenFosterL2P/