Skipper Jonathan Smith reports on Sam Wedgbury's progress as he embarks on a return to full fitness...
Midfielder Sam Wedgbury has been through a tough time this season. The 30-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Barrow back in August and has been recovering hard ever since. I caught up with him for an update following his return to light training with the first team this month.
He said: “For morale, it’s been good as it keeps you going a bit more. It gives you a buzz being back with the lads and I often run next to the session to keep me mentally tuned in.
“I’m six months post-op now, getting to the running stage and upping my gym work with heavy leg work and I can’t wait to get back."
You won’t find anyone as upbeat around the training ground and this positive attitude has not only helped the team but helped the former Wrexham man in his recovery.
“I’ve always been positive with whatever I do. I try to be positive around the lads as I have more chance of coming back if I stay positive and keep my head right," he said.
Support is vital for a player when going through such a serious injury. As Sam explains, it can be a long and lonely road back to full fitness.
“My family have been great. My wife, Alice, has been golden, however, it’s a lonely time so the biggest person is yourself.”
For any footballer, filling that football void when not playing can be difficult. However, Sam has tried to keep to a routine throughout this time.
“Trying to be as normal as possible has been important and I haven’t changed my routine. I keep coming in as normal and to the timescale the rest of the lads have. I need structure to my day and living close to home has helped me with this.”
Finally, having only joined the club in the summer, the Chesterfield number 4 is extra hungry to get back next season and prove to everyone what he can do.
“I can’t wait to get back playing,” he stressed. “I’m so hungry, it's crazy. The older you get the more hungry you are to get back. You want to play and prove people wrong to show you can get back to the player you were.”
There is no doubt that in the background, Sam has been recovering physically and mentally, ready for a big 2019.