Ferguson ready for 'long journey back' from injury

Lewis Ferguson may not play again this year as the Bologna captain recovers from knee surgery.

The Scotland international, 24, has enjoyed an outstanding season in Serie A, but he will miss Euro 2024 and estimates it will be "at least six or seven months" before he can resume training.

"I had surgery three weeks ago," Ferguson told BBC Scotland. "It's been really difficult physically and mentally. I've never really had an injury before.

"But I've started to accept that it's a long journey back and I'm ready to take it on.

"I don't want to put a time on it, but it will be at least six or seven months before I'm training again."

Ferguson was given a timely boost on Monday when he received the prestigious Bulgarelli Number 8 award.

The annual prize is given to the best midfielder in the Italian top flight, with former winners including Daniele De Rossi, Nicolo Barella and Sandro Tonali.

"It's nice company to be in," Ferguson told BBC Scotland. "So many fantastic players have won the award."

Ferguson, on crutches when he received the prize from former AC Milan and England boss Fabio Capello, scored six times and supplied four assists in 31 league appearances.

The ex-Aberdeen and Hamilton Academical player moved to Bologna in July 2022 and scored seven goals in his debut season.

Last summer, he signed a contract extension until 2027 and in October he took over the captaincy.

"I've loved every minute of it," he said of his Italian adventure.

"You've got be open-minded when you move to a new country. You need to buy into it, learn the language, the way of life.

"I settled in quickly and that has helped me on the park.

"I'm a much better player now. I've still got the same characteristics but I think about the game differently, in terms of tactics. Specific details can win and lose matches at this level."

Bologna and Scotland midfielder Lewis Ferguson
Ferguson was made Bologna captain in October last year [Getty Images]