Belfast Telegraph

The long road back to fitness

By Graham Luney

We are well into the cut and thrust of the Danske Bank Premiership but spare a thought for those players who are missing it badly.

Portadown defender Ross Redman may not kick a ball in anger for the rest of the season after suffering a serious knee injury.

The full-back was carried off on a stretcher during a 2-2 draw away to Coleraine.

A footballer's career is a short one and any time spent in the treatment room must be so frustrating.

But on top of the physical damage and the long road back to fitness, there's a psychological aspect to these incidents as well.

If a player suffers a long-term injury can he be sure he will return stronger than before?

Will the fear of the injury returning with a vengeance haunt him? Will he be prepared to go into full-blooded tackles like he used to?

It's important that players get the best support and encouragement from team-mates to ensure they complete their long journey back to first team action.

Chris Scannell missed the greatest season in the history of Cliftonville as he battled an Achilles tendon injury.

The huge and painful irony was that he was the one Solitude ace who deserved to enjoy the title-winning celebrations the most.

But the Reds hero is hoping to revive his career after signing a one-season contract with the north-Belfast club.

Now aged 36, let's hope Chris is back showing his class for the Reds again.

Belfast Telegraph

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