It’s been a while since I last posted an update on my knee, but if you’ve been following the journey on my Instagram then you’ll have seen the steady progressions.
So far the recovery has gone to plan and I haven’t suffered any setbacks. I know that the possibility of suffering a setback could happen out of nowhere, so I will continue to make sure I am following the plan and programme set by the club physio, Doctor and the specialist, as they continue to liaise with each other.
In the gym, I have now added some plyometrics to my programme and that just goes to show how well it is progressing at the minute. Although I am only jumping onto and off of a small box, this is a stark contrast to what I was able to do when I first got back in the gym.
After my first session doing the jumps, my knee was sore and a little stiff for the next few days but to my physio’s and my delight, the knee was still dry!
By dry, I mean that there was no swelling present. Any swelling would have meant we had aggravated it and had maybe taken one step too far. It would have resulted in me taking it down a notch to manage the swelling and ensure I didn’t do any more damage.
So although the knee was sore, it didn’t stop me from continuing with my gym programme. It was only a reaction to the months of inactivity and the need for strengthening of the area.
As the weeks go by, more and more weight is being added to my strength exercises, so I can see that the knee and legs are getting stronger and adapting well to the exercises I am performing.
I am doing a lot of hamstring and quad based exercises currently:
- Good mornings
- Bosu ball squats
- Single leg RDL’s
- Leg press
- Calf raises
- Bulgarian split squats
Agility work has now been incorporated into my gym programme with the strength work, so I am now doing:
- High knee skipping forwards and backwards
- Side shuffles
- Fast feet step-ups onto a box
- Fast feet side step-ups over a box
As well as all of these exercises, I am still working on trying to regain as much extension and flexion in the knee as possible, continuing with some of my earlier knee movements and keeping on top of my core work.
Alongside my knee work, I’m also trying to use this time in the gym to strengthen other areas of my body and work on things I have neglected in recent years due to the hectic football schedules. Tough sessions on the static bike and rowing machine are now a constant fixture in my programme and I am enjoying pushing myself and seeing small improvements.
So the schedule is pretty full-on but if I want to get back to playing football in the best condition possible, I know I will have to put the work in! I am trying to be patient with myself and not get frustrated when my body isn’t able to do things as easily as it was before but it’s definitely slowly adapting.
The club has been brilliant with me, in that due to the travelling required to get to Eastleigh every day, my schedule has been flexible. As I near a return this will change and I will be back in and around the boys on a more regular basis.
With that, I would like to say a big thankyou to Snap Fitness who have provided me with a space to get on with my rehab close to home. Darren and the gang have been amazing and everything about the gym is first class! There is no doubt that once I am back playing, the gym and the people in it would have had a big part to play in me being able to get back out there, doing what I love.
I’m hoping to see the grass in the near future but we will continue to take it day by day, as we have done from the beginning. There are plans to hopefully visit St. George’s Park at some point to use the incredible facilities and for a change of scenery, but that hasn’t been sorted yet and with the current situation in the world, may not be possible.
On the pitch, the boys are now heading into a busy period and it’s a time of year where football provides a lot of entertainment. It’s also a time of the year that players find themselves away from family as they travel to and from games. It’s what comes with the job but it can be tough mentally at times.
If you read my post; ‘Sacrifices’, you will know that as a footballer it is rare to have a Christmas with no game. For that reason this year I am going to make the most of this time with family because it is something I haven’t been able to do on many occasions.
To everyone who is reaching out and checking in, whether it’s through social media or in person at Eastleigh, I would just like to let you all know how important your support and messages have been for me. It’s been a tough 7 months so far but the love I have received has been nothing short of fantastic, so I would just like you to all know how appreciative I am of every single message! Thankyou.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year with your loved ones and fingers crossed you are able to spend it the way you wish! Here’s to a more positive 2022.
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