Darren Potter talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United midfielder Darren Potter insists he is happy with his progress on his road to recovery from a long-term Achilles injury, which has kept him sidelined since the back end of the 2017/18 campaign.
Although no date has been set in stone, the former Liverpool and MK Dons man is edging closer to a first team return with each week that passes and has moved into the next phase of his rehabilitation.
The 33-year-old took time to speak to www.themillers.co.uk at the club’s training base at Roundwood on Tuesday, explaining that his running shoes are primed and ready for use in the near future.
“I'm quite happy with where I'm at the moment. I'm not exactly sure how far post-op I am now but I must be about 18 weeks.
“We've changed up my programme this week so I'm starting a new period of strengthening the calf and the Achilles.
“It'll be the AlterG anti-gravity running machine first and I'm hoping that's going to be not too far off, two or three weeks max.
“There's a lot of gym-based work at the moment and strengthening and conditioning work. Once I get on the anti-gravity running machine it will just be a matter of time before I'm out on the grass.”
Like any long-term injury, there is the possibility that a player can suffer setbacks in his recovery and Potter admits that it hasn’t all been plain sailing as he has turned in countless unseen hours behind the scenes and in the gym.
“You have your days and your moments, recoveries often come in peaks and troughs,” he explained.
“I've been through a few dark days, certainly in the early stages just after the surgery. For two weeks, I had to sit for up to 50 minutes of every hour with my leg elevated which is really hard to take as a footballer that is used to being out training.
“It was really tough but I came through that and each time you do, you set another little hurdle that you have to get over and you can start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
With plenty of miles left to clock up for Potter before a first team return, he is keen not to put pressure on himself by setting a specific date for a return but says he will continue to work hard in an attempt to be back involved as soon as possible.
“I'm in a good place right now, so hopefully I can just keep pushing forward,” he continued.
“I suppose with something as serious as this, it's not wise to put out targets for returning in the press. We've got a goal in mind internally and I would say we are probably on track for that, so if that stays the same over the next month or so, then I can release something a bit nearer the time. For the time being, I'm just keeping my head down, working hard and hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later.”