Anyone who has been in the game for as long as Shaun MacDonald has will know that there are many highs and lows to contend with throughout ones career.
Even he though, would have been cursing his luck when he picked up an injury against Stoke City on Halloween, which would rule him out for the next two-and-a-half months.
MacDonald though, is not one to shirk a challenge, prior to his injury, he had been showing his best form in a Rotherham United shirt, nailing himself down as one of the first names on the teamsheet, in his defensive midfield role.
Following the setback, the Midfielder returned to full-training earlier this month and recently featured in a behind-closed-doors match between the squad.
After passing this milestone, he now hopes he’ll be able to kick on in training and work towards rediscovering the excellent form he was showing in the first half of the campaign.
“When I got injured in the way I did against Stoke it was very frustrating for me, but these things happen and you’ve got to stay strong mentally,” MacDonald told www.themillers.co.uk
“I’ve done that and worked hard, so hopefully I’m not too far way. I got some minutes under my belt in a behind closed doors game with the squad, it’s always nice to tick that box and hopefully now I can kick on in training."
“Last year was a really difficult season for me, it was very stop-start and I didn’t feel like I’d got into any real rhythm to show the fans what I’m all about. I had a good pre-season and got myself back in the team, I felt really fit and strong and I thought I was performing really well.”
Macca is the first person to admit that, even despite his early season form, he has another challenge on his hands to force his way back in to the starting line-up, following recent displays of other members of the Millers’ engine room.
Jamie Lindsay, Ben Wiles, Matt Crooks and Dan Barlaser have all performed to high levels in recent weeks and MacDonald is under no illusions about the scale of the challenge in forcing his way back into the reckoning.
As ever though, he insists that when the time comes he will be ready, while also stressing that he will continue to support everyone in the squad, as the Millers prepare for a packed February fixture schedule.
Starting with a trip to face Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough on Wednesday, the Millers will play 10 games between then and 27th February and Macca knows that everyone in the squad will be called upon in what will be a mammoth month.
“It is the gaffer’s job to pick the team, every player is going to be needed from now until the end of the season because there are so many games between now and the end,” he explained.
“It is similar to last year really, we were winning most games and I got stuck behind the boys who were playing. I’ll work hard, keep my head down in training and when I’m called upon I’ll be ready.
“We know what football is like, I’ll support all the lads who are playing and in the squad. Anything can happen at any time and I have to be ready for when the chance comes.”