Huddersfield Town v Middlesbrough: World Cup heartbreak? Yuta Nakayama says first thought was to come back stronger
What made his ruptured Achilles so upsetting was the previous day the centre-back was named in Japan's squad for his first World Cup.
On Tuesday Nakayama could play his first competitive game since, making a League Cup first-round tie at home to Middlesbrough far more important to the 26-year-old than his manager.
Speaking ahead of it, he made the remarkable claim he parked his World Cup disappointment getting back to the dressing room.
"I think it's weird but as soon as I got the injury, in the stadium, I knew I couldn't play in the World Cup so I just switched my mind to getting the chance to come back stronger," said Nakayama.
"I've had a lot of experience of getting my head down and that's why I didn't regret it.
"In my career I've had a lot of bad experiences but after every experience I've been able to be stronger as a footballer and a person."
He hopes Tuesday can also be a first chance to repay fans who showed him so much support when his maiden season in English football was so brutally cut short.
"They gave me a lot of energy so I need to show my appreciation when I play in the stadium and also give them wins – that's the biggest appreciation I can give,” he argued.
"I think the home fans will be very important for us this season.
"I haven't played 90 minutes in pre-season. I feel like I can do it but it depends how intense the game is."
Assistant manager Ronnie Jepson has been impressed by the defender off the field.
"He's been an absolute dream, the lad," he said. "I didn't see much of him before we came to the football club but as a human being he's an absolute diamond of a boy and when you've had an injury like that you just hope he can come back and show us what he's all about.
"When you have good human beings – people like Jonathan Hogg, Wardy (Danny Ward), Tom Lees – in your football club they set the tone in the changing room. We've got good solid pros like Matty Pearson who lead in there, proper lads."
Changes to the team beaten at Plymouth Argyle are inevitable after Neil Warnock said Town lacked the depth to give the cup a real crack. Opportunity knocks for youngsters.
"The gaffer isn't bothered if you're 35 or 20, he will give the opportunity if you show that desire and willingness in training and he can trust you within that set-up,” said Jepson.
"(We're looking to see) if they know their job first and foremost. Me and the gaffer have watched every B team game. (Kian) Phillips is training with us now and it's been refreshing seeing a young kid come back from injury. He's scored a few goals training with the first team.
"Then it’s can you do enough to get the gaffer to put you in the first team? That's what they've got to strive for.
"We haven’t got the biggest squad so as a younger pro I'd be thinking this is a great opportunity for me to knock that door down.
"Hopefully a few of them can prove a few things to the manager and the supporters."