Batty about David
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Tim Sherwood is relishing the prospect of locking horns with David Batty again&nbsp;- after his former team-mate battled back from a year of injury hell. <P class=MsoBodyText>Midfield kingpin Batty was playing the best football of his career when he sustained a calf injury against Bradford City in December 1999, a problem that was to rule him out for a year. <P class=MsoNormal>His presence in the Leeds midfield alongside the youth of Bowyer, Bakke, McPhail and Kewell helped Leeds march to the top of the Premiership and impress in the early rounds of the UEFA Cup last season. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN><P class=MsoNormal>But his failure to come back cast doubts over his future in the game as United's medical staff battled to get Batty fit again.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>It was only later that it was diagnosed that the medication he was using to counter a heart problem that arose from his rib injury picked up in his first game back as a Leeds player was reducing his recovery, and led to the reports suggesting that he may not play at all during the 2000/2001 season.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="COLOR: black; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt">But Batty returned in December and has been a regular in the side since.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal>The dark days were a far cry from the mid-1990s when Sherwood and Batty were vital cogs in Blackburn's Premiership-winning machine. <P class=MsoNormal>They were together at Ewood Park for three seasons before Batty moved to Newcastle and Sherwood is delighted to see his old mate back in action. <P class=MsoNormal>Sherwood said: "David has done well to come back. He's had a few knocks and at one stage it looked like he might not make it back but he's come back strong and fair play to him. <P class=MsoNormal>"We had a good crack together at Blackburn where we played together and were flying high. <P class=MsoNormal>"As a player he wants the ball all the time, follows the ball all around the pitch and tries to get involved in every movement. He's very enthusiastic and loves the game and I'm sure he'll be a tough opponent. <P class=MsoNormal>"We know each other's game inside out so we'll have to see who comes out on top."<P class=MsoNormal>Batty, always snapping away in midfield and rarely giving the ball away, looked back to his best in Leeds' memorable Champions' League win against Anderlecht on Wednesday. <P class=MsoNormal>Sherwood hopes that performance may have taken its toll. "Leeds will come here on a high but hopefully they will be a bit tired from their exertions in Anderlecht. <P class=MsoNormal>"They have a big enough squad though and I'm sure they can shift things around a bit. <P class=MsoNormal>"It will be a difficult game. It will be tight, we will be hard to beat and we haven't been beaten at home&nbsp;- neither had Anderlecht until the other night. Hopefully we can maintain our record." <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p>