Jordan Stewart vows to come back stronger after knee misery
Jordan Stewart says he won't let a serious knee injury damage his dream of becoming a smash hit at League One side Swindon Town.
The striker struggled to adjust to life in England after leaving Glentoran in August last year but he has made several first team appearances this season and found the net against Queen's Park Rangers in the EFL Cup.
His progress has now been derailed by a knee injury and the Northern Ireland Under-21 international needs an operation to deal with a torn cartilage and damage to a medial collateral ligament. It's a huge setback for Stewart, who earned a dream move to Town after dazzling for the Glens, but the frontman is refusing to be despondent.
"I felt pain in my knee in training but still joined up with the Northern Ireland Under-21 side for the game against Iceland," he said.
"The strange thing is that I'm not totally sure how it happened but it's a bad one.
"After a few days I had to go back to Swindon but I've torn my cartilage and I'm going to need a period of recuperation.
"The operation has been put off for two weeks so I have to wait and see how that goes and then move forward from there.
"It's pretty clear I'm going to be out of action for some time but I'm quite relaxed about it as I know I can come back stronger and fitter.
"The timing is never great and it's disappointing as I had played five games for Swindon and scored against Queen's Park Rangers.
"Things were looking up for me but injuries are part and parcel of the game and they affect every player.
"You just have to swallow your disappointment and get on with it. It's the way things happen unfortunately and I can't change anything.
"I can't speculate about how long I'll be out for but it will be a while. I was feeling good about my football and enjoying my time in England again so it's a shame but I'll come back.
"Being involved with the Northern Ireland Under-21s was also brilliant and a huge boost for me."
While Stewart has his own injury frustration to deal with, his old club Glentoran are nursing their own wounds after a disappointing start to their Danske Bank Premiership season.
The Glens are hunting for a new manager after parting company with Alan Kernaghan following a shock defeat to Annagh United in the League Cup.
They find themselves in the bottom half of the table while big name signing Nacho Novo has failed to hit the ground running and left the action early against Glenavon last night with an injury.
"I still follow the Irish League closely, including Glentoran's results," added Stewart.
"I still have a few friends there and they keep me up to date with what's happening.
"I know they haven't started the season well but hopefully they can turn things around. I think if there's a strong Glentoran team in Irish League football it's a better league.
"Hopefully the Glens can get back to where they belong which is at the top end of the league table. I wish them well."