Luke McCullough is hoping to put an 18-month injury nightmare behind him today when he turns out for Doncaster Rovers at Portsmouth.
For apart from a seven-game run at the back end of last season, the 23-year has been plagued by a knee problems, including a cruciate ligament injury.
The Irishman has yet to feature for Darren Ferguson’s side this season, since helping to clinch promotion from League Two last year.
Now the defender/midfielder could feature against Pompey, having played 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Lincoln City last weekend.
He said: “It’s nice to be back training with the lads, it’s been tough for me but sometimes it doesn’t feel that long since I was playing at the end of last season.
“Psychologically this injury was tough because I kept getting setbacks, with my knee injury I knew straight away it was going to be a long one so I learned to deal with that better.
I’ve spoken to the psychologist at the club a few times and the rest of the staff have been really good with me, you have to be strong for yourself and those around you.Luke McCullough
“I’ve spoken to the psychologist at the club a few times and the rest of the staff have been really good with me, you have to be strong for yourself and those around you.
“I’ve been coming to every home game and the odd away one too, I like to come and support the lads whichever way I can. You feel out of the loop when you’re not playing but I try to stay involved.
“I haven’t been myself with my family while I’ve been injured because I’m not doing my job, when you’re injured it’s tough to switch off from it.
“I’ll need to play a handful of games before I feel match fit again, I’ve played in a few development games which have improved my fitness to where it needs to be.”
Rovers head to Fratton Park without a win in their last six outings.
Four of those have ended in draws, leaving Doncaster in mid-table, five points behind ninth-placed Pompey.
With this week’s arrival of loan duo Tom Anderson (Burnley) and Andy Boyle (Preston), Rovers have sent out defenders Danny Amos, Reece Fielding and Tyler Walker on loan to non-League clubs.
Fielding and Walker have returned to Biggleswade Town for the remainder of the season.
Amos has joined Evo-Stik Premier Division side Buxton on a month’s loan.