Jamie Proctor talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Striker Jamie Proctor lifts the lid on his journey back from injury after recently making his first-team return after being on the sidelines for almost a year.
The striker returned with a bang as he bagged a brace in the Millers’ 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Wigan, before making an appearance from the bench in the league game against Leeds United at Elland Road and going on to start at Everton’s Goodison Park.
“It was all about getting back out there for me. Making sure I came off the pitch feeling good and that’s exactly what has happened – to have the goals as well, it’s a good feeling,” Proctor explained after his brace in the first round of the cup.
The Wigan fixture was the 26-year-old’s first start in almost a year, having picked up a season-ending injury against Charlton last August.
Recovering from a serious knee problem is never simple, and Proctor gave an insight into some of bumps he has had to endure along the way.
He said: “It’s a steady process that you have to take really slow, and I have done that. It’s important to not get carried away now.
“You have a lot of ups and down. The high days you think ‘I’ll be back out there soon, I’ll be playing, I’ll be scoring’. The low days you just can’t see when you'll be back out there.
“There was a time last year when I was close to training with the lads towards the end of the season and then, as there is with this injury, I had another setback which was tough for me.
“I expected to be back out there sooner rather than later – obviously you can see it set me back a few months.”
Having fought back to full fitness, Proctor paid tribute to the club for their role during his recovery.
“I don’t think I’d have been able to manage it as well as I have anywhere else,” he stressed.
“As an injured player, you’re usually cast aside because you’re not needed on a match day. That’s not been the case here - you’re kept involved and you always feel a part of the group.”
Proctor received a standing ovation from the Millers faithful, with two goals and 81 precious minutes under his belt in the win over Wigan in the cup and explained how the supporters played a key part during his rehabilitation.
“That’s one of the other things that’s kept me going -when I come to the game and see the fans. They've been brilliant with me throughout, fans usually discard you because you’re not involved but I haven’t felt that.
“The fans reaction when I came off obviously showed that.”
Now, having returned to first-team action, Proctor is hungry for the challenges that await in the Championship.
“We’re going to have a lot of them this year. It’s a challenge and we know we'll be the underdog in most games.
“A lot of the games we’ll have to soak up the pressure, hit teams on the break and take our chances when we get them.”