Prior to last Saturday’s home match against West Ham Connor Wickham was on hand to meet the fans in the Fanzone and gave an update on his road to full recovery from his knee injury which he suffered last season.
The striker’s injury happened in the nine goal thriller against Swansea City in November last year as the 24 year old left the action with a cruciate knee ligament tear but he is now seeing light at the end of the tunnel after an eleven month absence.
“Generally my rehab is going well; there have been a couple of hiccups along the way although it was quite an injury as I had ruptured a couple of ligaments and suffered cartilage damage so it’s not been easy. It’s been difficult for me personally and I have had to learn to deal with the amount of time I have had to be missing but this has seen me have to develop as a person. I am sure it has made me a lot stronger whilst feeling every single emotion you can whilst being out injured but it is coming to an end now and hopefully I will be able to be in a position to start playing again in a couple of months."
He has been a regular supporter of his team mates from the stands but like many players he admits when out injured he doesn’t find it easy watching as a spectator knowing he cannot play a part in proceedings.
“I like to come and watch the boys but the longer I have been out injured has made it harder for me to come and watch. It’s difficult to sit and watch the boys in action when all I want to do is get myself in a position where I can get myself fit and get back involved again.
“It is one of the hardest parts of my life being out injured and especially for this length of time because it is the first time I have experienced having to miss this length of time. I come and watch the boys as much as I can and get involved and let’s hope it’s not too long before the results start going in the right direction.”
Just over a year ago Pape Souare was involved in the horrific car accident which was to see him become a regular companion for Connor in the gym, once he the had undergone his operation, and Wickham believes the defender has proved a real inspiration to him as he has been on the long road to recovery.
Wickham was not even sure that the left back was going to get chance to be playing in the red and blue again so has nothing but admiration at the way he has come back to be in a position to be named in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the recent cup game against Huddersfield Town.
“When I saw the state of his car after the road accident I honestly didn’t think he would play football again but watching every single day of his rehab and he worked so hard which was a real inspiration during the difficult times for me.
“In those situations you work with each other and push each other on as you both work on your own individual recovery programmes.
“Having him in the gym every day during my rehab was great because it is an example to see how well he is progressing and fair play to him because having watched him closer than other players had the chance to do I have to say he has done ever so well to get back playing and good luck to him.”