It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog as you might guess its bee hard work for me, I have really pushed myself to get fit as fast as I can.
At that point I had finished my conditioning week and was heading into my final week of rehabilitation with more football specific drills to make sure my foot could deal with the different exertions that football movement patterns expose it to. So, in my 10th and final week I did football sessions with Phil Hayward on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with no problems at all, I also joined in with the 1st team for different passing drills. By the time Friday came I was desperate to join in full training!
It was always the plan to have a CT scan at around 10 weeks to make sure the bone was healing well and to make sure the screw in my 5th metatarsal was still in a good position. I was 99.9% sure everything would be okay as I have had a really good rehabilitation since the fracture with no pain or setbacks occurring at any time, but it was still a massive relief for the radiographer and surgeon to both report on the scan positively giving me the all clear to join in full training. Even more pleasing was having the surgeon tell me that the scan actually looked like I was 14-16 weeks post operation rather than the actual 10 weeks. This just confirmed to me that all the sacrifices I made and dedication I showed was really worth it.
I have been adamant right the way through this process that the nutrition has played a huge role, it has allowed me to heal quicker and stronger with no need to take any sort of medication at all. I believe my food choices have helped decrease inflammation meaning I have had relatively little pain. Along with that, all the constant anti inflammatory processes I carried out, elevating my leg at every opportunity, massage and all the icing and compression through using the Game Ready machine has had a massive effect. I calculated that in the 10 weeks post surgery I have used the Game Ready about 250 times which equates to around 84 hours or 3 and a half days (no wonder I have had no pain in my foot, it has been numb!) On top of that, good sleeping patterns, all my specific work in the gym with the physio’s, and all my conditioning work with sports scientists has contributed to me being able to be back in training inside 10 weeks in the best possible shape. I think it is also important to mention that apart from the first 24 hours after the surgery I have not taken one tablet or painkiller.
I absolutely loved joining in training last Friday for the first time, it was great to be back in my usual morning routine preparing for our morning football session and great to be back amongst my team-mates. I then trained on Sunday and Monday, each time increasing the intensity in which I trained. I have had no pain at all in my foot since being back in training and no hesitancy either, whether it be going into tackles, closing people down, striking the ball or sprinting full out.
I was over the moon to be included in the travelling squad to MK Dons on Tuesday. I love a match day routine and the chance to be in the dressing room helping the boys to prepare for a game was something I had been longing for over the last couple on months.
Things got even better when I was named on the substitutes bench, to have a chance of being back out on the pitch was an exciting thought, and as the game ebbed and flowed like a usual Championship encounter, I got the call to get ready with about 5 minutes to go. We were leading 2-1, which in usual circumstances is quite a difficult scenario to come on in because not really a lot can go right, you are being put on the pitch to see the game out and you are desperate not to make a mistake!
However, I was raring to come on, I was dreaming of a breakaway goal. James Henry had been putting in some magnificent crosses all game and I desperate to have the chance of getting on the end of one.
I was ready from about 85 minutes to come on but didn’t actually get the go ahead from the gaffer until injury time with about 3 additional minutes remaining. I managed to get one touch, a header that I flicked onto Adam Le Fondre so at least my pass completion read 100%. Joking aside, it was an incredible feeling to back on the pitch just 73 days since I fractured my metatarsal at Loftus Road. It has given me a platform to hopefully progress and get more minutes under my belt and push to be back in the starting 11 before the end of the season. Tuesday was also my 250th appearance for Wolves, I am so proud to have played so many matches for such a great club!
One sour moment of Tuesday night was the horrific knee injury that Michael Zyro suffered. Michael is a great guy who I really have a lot of time for, he is a hard worker, a terrific footballer and has a great personality. Everyone knows it is going to be a tough, long road for him to get back to full fitness, he will have ups and downs physically and emotionally but he has a really positive attitude that will undoubtedly see him come back fitter and stronger. He has good people looking after him and team-mates that will always be there to help whenever they can.
I want to say a personal thanks to everyone who has helped me through these last 10 weeks.
The hard work of our medical team at Wolves has been incredible, they have gone above and beyond to make sure I returned in the best possible condition. There is an endless list of thank you’s that I need to give out for the amount of help and good will I have received but it would turn the blog into more of a novel!
My final thank you is to everyone who has read this blog. Through the blog and social media I have received so much support and encouragement, it has really spurred me on and played a huge part in my recovery. If you guys can all send the same support to Michael Zyro, Jordan Graham, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Nouha Dicko as they recover from bad injuries it will help them in the same way you have all helped me! Thanks again and I hope I have given you an insight into the football world and what is like for an injured player.
Thanks for reading!