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Singleton happy to leave his injury nightmare in past


Fighting fit: James Singleton

Fighting fit: James Singleton

Fighting fit: James Singleton

James Singleton is relieved his one-year injury hell is over and he's ready to play "without fear" again. The Glenavon ace suffered a horrific leg break while playing for the Northern Ireland Under-21 side at Mourneview Park in October last year but a first league start against Ballymena United last weekend marked an important step in his rehabilitation.

The 21-year-old, who returned to competitive action for the first team with a substitute appearance against H&W Welders in the League Cup, is excited to be back on the big stage but the dark moment that derailed his career on October 13, 2015 will not be erased from his memory.

"It was a tough year, I was out for a full year," said Singleton ahead of his side's trip to Cliftonville today. "Twelve months is a long time away but it's great to be back and part of a winning team. Now I want to keep my shirt and place in the team.

"It's hard to be sitting in the stand every week watching the team when you are desperate to be part of it. The club won the Irish Cup final which was brilliant but I watched it from the stand and when you aren't physically playing it's different.

"When I came back into training in pre-season I was a bit hesitant about going into strong challenges but I took a few against Ballymena and my leg is okay. I've got to move on and play without fear.

"We beat Crusaders in the Charity Shield which was a brilliant start but that raised expectation levels of a title challenge. We have had a few draws which have been frustrating."

The treatment room can be a lonely place but Singleton is grateful for the advice and encouragement which arrived.

"The rehabilitation period was difficult but the club physio Lyn Carpenter was fantastic in making sure I did the right exercises to strengthen my leg," he added.

"I'm grateful to her and everyone who has been supportive. Jim Magilton, the Northern Ireland U21 boss, wished me well and kept in touch."

Belfast Telegraph