The lifespan of a professional footballer’s career can hardly be considered long.
Therefore, to be sat on the sidelines for a year can throw up a number of mental issues for players who suffer long-term injuries.
Jamie Proctor knows this feeling all too well, having been out of action since last August, owing to a anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Thankfully for the Rotherham United striker, his 12-month hiatus is now finally over.
Proctor, 26, made his comeback in style as he scored in each half of the Millers’ 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Wigan.
“You have ups and downs,” recalled Proctor, when quizzed over the past year.
“On the high days you think about being back out there training with the lads.
“But then on the low days you think: ‘I just can’t see when I’m going to be back out there’.
“It’s a steady process and one that you have to try and take really slow.”
By pure coincidence, two of Proctor’s close colleagues in the game were affected by the exact same injury.
Proctor says the trio helped each other recuperate but also credits manager Paul Warne for making him feel part of the squad during his rehabilitation.
“Two of my friends at other clubs did the exact same injury,” said Proctor.
“One was on the same day, Danny Andrew at Doncaster, and Nicky Adams (now at Bury) did his about six weeks later.
“They’ve been supportive and we’ve got each other through it.
“But I don’t think I’d have been able to do this and manage it as well if I’d have been anywhere else other than Rotherham.
“As an injured player, you can be kind of cast aside and on a match-day, players and staff don’t really need you.
“But that’s not the case here: you’re always kept involved and made to feel a part of it.”
In terms of the Millers’ prospects this season, Proctor is realistic in his assessment. Despite that, he is hoping they can spring plenty of surprises, starting with Saturday’s visit to Elland Road.
“We’ll be the underdog in most games,” he added.
“We’ll have to soak up pressure and hit teams on the break and take our chances when we get them and that’s likely to be the same against Leeds.”