Jamie Proctor talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
The rigorous fitness testing and relentless cardiovascular work planned by Paul Warne and his coaching staff for the Rotherham United first team will have been on the minds of many as the return to training last week drew ever closer throughout the summer break, but one player who will have been relishing that date in the calendar approaching is forward Jamie Proctor.
The former Bolton Wanderers frontman has endured a frustrating spell in South Yorkshire which has seen injuries hamper his progress each time he found his feet in the first team, and following a long and arduous rehabilitation programme which has given him the best possible chance of enjoying a full programme alongside his teammates ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, the striker is ready for a return.
That work has certainly paid dividends for Proctor, who cut a lean figure as he paced laps of the club’s Roundwood training complex as his teammates arrived for the first day back, and the 27-year-old says he is feeling good in the early sessions following his return.
“Things are going very well,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I was able to do everything that we got given in terms of the off-season programme, so I've been ticking over, trying to keep the balance of not doing too much or too little.
“I feel good. I was in alone the week before the other lads and I feel good and I'm excited to get going and see how my body holds up.
“Getting back in and seeing the lads and getting the footballs out, even just running about and being back in the building is good and I can't wait to get back out there.”
Proctor continued to explain that he will do his utmost to maintain the pace with his Millers colleagues, whilst conceding that he may have to occasionally sit out of sessions for the good of his rehabilitation.
“I think the plan is for me to have joined in from Day One and to see how I cope and how I react,” he added.
“After that I can feed in and out of the full programme. I'll maybe have a little bit more downtime that you would normally in pre-season but that's just to ensure I don't do too much too soon.
“I think that's the aim. It seems like a long while off at the minute and the fact that I've not kicked a ball for six or seven months means that I can't think too far ahead. I'm going to have to take it day-by-day, week-by-week and game-by-game.”
The Preston-born frontman is hopeful that the opportunity to join the fold from the off will benefit him in the long run, adding that missing a similar stage last season was not beneficial as he looked to return to full fitness.
“The aim is for me to make sure I join in all the games because last year I think it caught up with me in that I only played around an hour in total in pre-season,” Proctor admitted.
“After that, coming into the season you're never going to be fit enough or ready, so hopefully this time I can join in against Parkgate and then be in and out of the games all the way through.
“The plan is at the minute that everything should be fine and I should be back involved.”