Hull City's James Scott went from screaming with joy to his toughest moment
That his because he injured his ankle at the start of his first training session as a Hull player in what at the time was diagnosed as a season-ending injury.
But if the coronavirus pandemic takes 2019-20 into extra-time, that could allow him back onto the pitch after all, having been able to train alongside others while the rest of the country is in lockdown.
It is just the fillip he needed after the initial disappointment of the first major injury of his career at the worst possible time.
“It has to go down as the toughest moment of my life so far,” he told the club's official website.
“I came into the training ground and I was buzzing to meet the rest of the lads and get going. It was my first training session and I just wanted to make an impact and show what I’m capable of. Everything started well but then I rolled my ankle. I probably made it worse because I trained through it.
“I did the full session because I thought it was just a wee knock. With the gaffer (head coach Grant McCann) and Cliff (Byrne, his assistant) watching on, I just wanted to make an impact and show what I could do because I was desperate to be involved in the game on the Saturday. It was a massive disappointment after experiencing the high of the move and that was further compounded with the news of exactly what I’d done.
“Cruel is a great word to describe what happened. I’d never had any major injuries in my career prior to this one whatsoever. I’d never had an operation before so it was very disappointing for it to happen right at the start of my time here. It was something tough to deal with, but I’ve got a good mentality and didn’t let it get to me.”
As for the “high of the move”, Scott revealed just how excited he was to complete it late in a dramatic day which saw fellow wingers Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki leave East Yorkshire.
“I was overjoyed to get everything signed and completed on the last day of the transfer window,” he said. It’s going to be a big step up for myself but the challenges that lie ahead are something that I’m very much looking forward to and relishing.
“Making the move to English football has always been an ambition of mine eventually, although my mentality wasn’t to make it happen in January. I was probably thinking to see out the season with Motherwell and in Scotland, but when a team like Hull City came in for me, it was a no-brainer of a decision.
“You watch these things unfold on Sky Sports News and think to yourself, ‘Surely it doesn’t happen like it’s reported’. But, when you’re in the middle of it and get to experience it, it’s absolute chaos! I was sweating and shaking myself because I wanted the move to happen so badly and when everything was done, the over-riding feeling was just pure relief! I’ll admit to screaming the hotel room down with both joy and relief once everything was all sorted!”
Scott is now stepping up the rehabilitation work after his recovery, and while most of his team-mates have had to train on their own, he has been allowed into the Tigers' training basis to work on their anti-gravity treadmill.
“I’m now out of the protective boot and the crutches have gone as well,” he explained.
“I’m back walking on the treadmill at the minute and, hopefully, in the next nine or ten days, I can start running. I’ve been hard at work in the gym as well, getting bigger and stronger. It’s time to crack on now, though.
“I’m working hard with the physios that are in – me and big Tom Eaves. He’s got a similar sort of injury, so we’re on the exact same timescale in terms of coming back, so we’re just cracking on and are both fully focused on getting back to full fitness as quickly as possible. It’s been great and a big help.
“As well as working alongside big ‘Eavesy’, I had Eric Lichaj – the skipper – as well. He played a massive part and was great when talking to me. He kept me going and made sure my mind was right. It can be lonely at times if you’re on your own.
“To have someone with you for the journey – every single day – is massive. It’s been a big, big help to me.
“I’ve been quite fortunate really because I’ve been in at the training ground every day, working with the medical team and in the gym, whilst the rest of the country has been in lockdown. I can’t even begin to imagine how tough it’s been for the public to have to stay indoors with what’s going on with the coronavirus in the country.
“Hopefully, if the season does get up and running again, I can play a part and score some goals to get us moving up the table.”
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