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READ | Wiles working towards late season return to action

22 February 2023


READ | Wiles working towards late season return to action

22 February 2023

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The treatment room can be a lonely place for footballers – particularly those who find themselves sidelined for any prolonged period of time.

To see teammates and friends head out onto the training pitches whilst continuing to burrow away at a rehabilitation programme - quite often alone alongside a physio or fitness coach - can be mentally challenging and pose questions which outweigh the task of the physical work on the agenda.

For Ben Wiles, all of the above applies.

The Academy product is currently facing his first lengthy stint away from the main training group having sustained an ankle injury which has ruled him out for a matter of months, but Wiles is a player with a mature head on young shoulders and recognises the importance of his mindset in the rehab process.

"It's a long, old graft and I haven't been injured like this before so I'm new to spending this much time off the pitch, in the gym and on the bike every morning,” he revealed.

"It's difficult to take but there's no point dwelling on it or feeling sorry for myself. I've just got to focus on getting back and then in the team when that time comes."

Ben Wiles, Rotherham United

"I try to stay positive. Being at home was difficult because you're not around the lads. They make it easier when you're able to chat and have a bit of a laugh around the place.

"I would say I'm a strong character and I like to look at things in a positive way. Don't get me wrong, I have good and bad days where my mental state is low just because of the impact that having a long-term injury has on you.

"We're ticking over at a good pace and as much as I want to be back, there's no point rushing things right at this minute.

"It's hard to say where I am on the path to recovery. Every day is different and I have good days and bad days.

"I think I'm ahead of schedule timescale-wise. Just looking at my ankle combined with the feedback I've been getting suggests that I'm at least on-course.”


RUFC v Stoke City - 057 - Ben Wiles - Injury.jpg


We can personally vouch for the fact that the 23-year-old has continued to be a positive influence around the club’s Roundwood training base and it has been good to see him progress from pot, to air boot and now back into running trainers.

The Rawmarsh-raised midfielder admits that progressing through the various stages which have a visual distinction has been a boost for morale and was, in fact, mid-flow on the Wattbike whilst talking to us for this interview.

"It's important to get my ankle mobilised again,” Wiles continued.

"I got the boot off a couple of weeks ago and it was a bit of a drag during that time.

"It makes life more difficult in general because you can't drive and there are other frustrations that come with it, so it's a good sign to be out of the boot. The stitches look really good and have healed really well.

"My ankle is still looking a bit chunky but it might look that way for the rest of my career now. That's something that we'll just have to manage further down the line.”

Wiles, who knows nothing other than living with an ambitious and driven personality, already has his sights set on a return, despite being in the relative infancy of his rehab and admits he is looking forward to being involved alongside the raft of January arrivals when he is fit again.

"When you look at the signings that we've made, the signs are really positive and it would be a joy to actually play alongside some of the new lads,” he continued.

"I think my hope is to try and make a couple of appearances before the end of the season - obviously when the lads have guaranteed safety in the division!"

Ben Wiles, Rotherham United

"It would be great to have my boots back on and get a good sweat on before the season is out. That can give me a good idea as to where I am physically and whether I would be in any position to play in any games between now and May. That's the aim. I want to be back for the last couple of games and at the moment, that's what the schedule says I should be on-course for.

"I'm not a good watcher because I'm still young and have that enthusiasm that I want to play every minute, run around and score goals. I want that buzz back.”

The all-action Academy graduate concluded by confessing that whilst he “isn’t a good watcher”, he sees the value in taking a backseat as he looks to further develop aspects of his game.

"Watching isn't ideal but it has been eye-opening in a good way for my development taking a back seat,” Wiles admitted.

“I have played the majority of the games for the last couple of seasons and started this one the same way, so it is interesting to take things in from another perspective.

"That's still part of my learning process - to watch other people and to learn from them.

"I will always try to bring a positive energy into the changing room but at the minute, I don't need to help out because the lads are flying. I'll be there to pick them up when they're down, but at the minute, I'll just help them by staying positive."

Ben Wiles, Rotherham United

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