Rotherham United winger Chiedozie Ogbene insisted that he is excited to come back stronger, after having surgery on a knee injury he picked up in training.
Chieo was handed the setback the day before the Millers’ Sky Bet Championship draw with Huddersfield Town at the start of the month, going under the knife the following Monday.
The surgery was successful in repairing the 23-year-old's cartilage which means he should avoid further complications later on in his career, but unfortunately it now means he is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Despite this, Chieo stressed that he is still in good spirits and that the support shown by Paul Warne and the coaching staff, as well as his teammates is helping him stay positive.
“I’m really good, emotionally, mentally and physically. I’ve got a lot of good people around me to help and I’m really positive about it. I feel like things will get better soon," Chieo told www.themillers.co.uk.
“The surgery was very successful, each and everyday I’ve been getting better. The swelling has gone down and I’m pain free, which is very important.
“The gaffer let me know his full support is with me and just encouraged me to stay mentally strong. Every player goes through this journey and now it is time for me to through it.
“I’m quite emotional and the players around me know that. Straight away the players have rallied around me and reassured me.
“That’s why I’ve been coming into training, I want to be there, and I know each day I’m getting better and better. I’m really blessed that I’m in this environment where everyone is looking after each other. No one gets left behind here, sometimes I feel like I’m not even injured around them."
“I’m really excited to get back and show what I can be and trying to help the team achieve their goals. I’m going to use this time wisely to make myself better when I come back.”
During his time at AESSEAL New York Stadium, Chieo has firmly established himself as a fans’-favourite and after seeing the bad news, many supporters took to social media to offer their own positive words of encouragement.
This is something that was not lost on Ogbene, who revealed the kind words he received made him feel like he was not alone on his road to recovery.
“It’s always good because it makes it feel like you’re not alone and these journeys are very tough for every player to go through," he said.
“When you’re stable mentally and everything is going well time passes very quickly, next week it’ll be two weeks since the surgery and that has gone by quicker than I realised.”
“With all the support I have around me I feel happy everyday to be waking up and the excitement of knowing that I can come back stronger is keeping me going.”
The Millers have made an encouraging start to life in the Sky Bet Championship following promotion last term, collecting five points from their opening four fixtures and Chieo is confident that the team have what it takes to achieve their goals this year, even in his absence.
“We have some really great players and a lot of good new signings. As the season started, I was saying to myself that I had to be on my A-game every day because there are good players pushing me," Ogbene explained.
“I have no doubt in this team, and I feel like we can go on to shock a lot of people this season.”