After introducing myself last week and giving an early glimpse into my life abroad, hopefully you’ll be glad to hear I’m back with the next part. This week I’ll be sharing a bit more about settling in over in Belgium and how it is being injured.
Before we get into how my week has been I just want to mention the groin injury I spoke about in the last column and the effect it had on me. I went down in the game against Preston in April last year and I knew I was done when signalled over to the bench. I knew my groin had ripped and my season was over, but I definitely didn’t realise the full extent of my injury and the length of time I’d be out. I missed five weeks at the end of the season and then played the first game of the following campaign. Looking at the facts, I didn’t miss a lot of football, but, mentally, I missed a lot of important times.
I spent my summer in rehab at Hampden with physio Jim Fallon. Don’t get me wrong, Jim is a top physio and great guy, but aqua jogging with a float around my waist wasn’t quite how I’d envisioned my summer. From start to finish it was four months before I was back training. It wasn’t what I needed. The timing couldn’t have been worse. I honestly think if I had done it at the start of the season it would have been better for me. I didn’t have teammates around me during the summer. Had they had been there, I would have definitely envied them being able to train fully fit and would have been even more desperate to get back. I would have been aiming to train as soon as possible.
This last week has been a nightmare. Ever since I broke my toe four weeks ago, it has had a knock-on effect to my other foot. I rested for a week before I went out, attempted to train and lasted about 90 seconds before doing the walk of shame back to the physio room in front of 20 grown men. What makes it worse was the fact that I was winding everyone up shouting ‘Tony’s back’ a few seconds before. Running alongside the team handing out verbals and threatening nutmegs one minute then trying to sneak back inside a few minutes later. Unfortunately, the walk back was too far to go unnoticed. You can imagine the abuse I got as they began to realise. Fully deserved.
Spectator today 🙅🏻♂️😕 come on boys 💡 pic.twitter.com/1HfuVQGSlQ
— Tony Watt (@Tony_Watt7) September 30, 2017
I took it like a man, but in my head the problem was still there. I was gutted. All sorts of injuries were being mentioned and the only thing on my mind was the thought of another six weeks of rehab. The team would be walking past me on their way out to training while I would be on the bike with the physio as my only teammate for weeks. Not ideal. As I wrote before, having my team mates around me would help me work towards getting back on to the field as soon as possible, but I don’t fancy being stuck in a physio room jumping on a trampoline or cycling 10 kilometres on the spot. I’ve been available for selection once under the new manager. ONCE. That certainly isn’t the best of starts, but I’m very fortunate that he’s helped me to stay positive about the whole situation and made me feel part of the team. We’re winning and we are challenging to become champions – a much bigger prospect than my daily 10k cycle.
The words ‘stress fracture’ were two I did not want to hear after I had the scan. Waiting for the doctor to call me was the longest hour-and-a-half I’ve had in a long time. You couldn’t wipe the smile from my face when he told me the good news that there had been no fracture. This time when I put my boots on, I’ll try to keep my mouth shut until at least the warm up is finished. Then the fighting talk can really start.
Tony runs popular movie and TV review website watttowatch.co.uk and will be offering us an insight into his life every midweek throughout the season. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.