Former Yeovil Town striker Andy Williams is back on the road to recovery following a ten month lay-off from the game. The Swindon Town player has completed two 45 minute run-outs against Yate and Swindon Supermarine that acted as his first major steps in his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury sustained at Huish Park.
Just nine games into a full 2013-14 season loan with the Glovers, in his second spell with the club, the 27 year old suffered a training ground injury that was to end his season rather abruptly on the final day of October 2013. However, he has told the Swindon Advertiser that he didn't realise that the injury was so severe until several days later and had even travelled up on the team bus to Leeds United, hoping to play at Elland Road:
"I did it on a Thursday (31st October) and travelled up to Leeds on the Friday ready to play but it swelled up horrifically. I had an operation and it was nine months from there. I couldn't straighten my knee for the first three months and any fitness I was doing was upper body. After two months, I could get in the pool and then from three I spent all my time strengthening it – for the last three months, I've been doing nothing but that."
When he was loaned out to Yeovil Town, as part of a cost-cutting exercise at the County Ground, there had been a suspicion that he would not return to Swindon for the 2014-15 season. However, boss Mark Cooper has said that the former Bristol Rovers player is still very much part of his first team plans:
"He’s trained every session, looks really fit and really strong and he’s been flying in training. Most League One teams would know he’s got something to offer if we play two up front. He’s very strong mentally. The physio hasn’t had to chase him at all, he’s just one that goes and does his work. I’ve not seen any sign of him letting up or pulling out of tackles. I’ve got no worries he’ll be flying come August 9th. At the start of last season, when we decided we were going to play one up front, it just wasn’t suited to what Andy gives and with it looking like we’ll probably play two up front it will probably suit him."
Williams has admitted that his time immediately after his knee operation was a difficult one, given that he was unable to even walk during that period. However, being able to get through those two friendly matches without a reaction was a big step in the right direction for him:
"I've only had a couple of 45 minutes but for me personally it was important that I got through the two games, for mental reasons as much as physical. It's just as tough mentally as it is physically. The first two weeks, when you're fresh off the operating table and you're sat in the front room not able to even get your food and drink, are awful. But after that, there were loads of little goals to hit and the fitness coach and the physio here worked with me every day and I couldn't fault what they did with me to help me get back ahead of schedule. After being out for such a long time, it does feel weird getting back on the pitch again."
Link: Andy Williams : Yeovil Town Statistics.
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