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INTERVIEW: Looking forward to getting back

28 January 2015

Gary Dicker on his injury situation

Gary Dicker spoke to us last week about his injury frustrations and road back to recovery.

"I'm back outside running with Lee [Fearn], so that's good," he said. "We're doing more on the grass, including some ball work, so it's coming along well. I don't want to put a date on it because if you don't get there it can be disheartening. I'm just looking forward to getting back in full training." 

"The injury actually happened in training on a Thursday morning," he explained. "Pottsy [Brad Potts] was taking a shot and I slid in to block it. I got the ball so he ended up kicking me. It wasn't the hardest kick I've ever had and I've taken quite a few on that area in the past. He caught me on the top of the plate I have in there and I knew it was sore straight away, so I crawled off the pitch.

"It took two and a half weeks to get to the bottom of what had happened but I ended up finding out it was a little fracture. That resulted in my plate being removed. I don't think any player likes being injured and I've been quite lucky with injuries through my career, so it is hard. The first thing you concentrate on is getting better."

On how the injury affects the mindset, he said: "Your life changes completely. You're in work longer, and earlier, and you do feel a bit down because you're not involved. I've definitely needed the support of my partner. 

"For the first couple of weeks I couldn't really do anything because I was on crutches. What you have to do is accept that injuries are part of the job and I think, as you get older, you learn how to deal with it better.

"I'm a bright character and I like having a joke, so that helps, but I also like being serious when it's time to work. I think you've got to be upbeat in a situation like this. When I actually broke my leg I was out for five months so you do learn how to cope and how to act. The more doom and gloom around the worse it is, so you've got to think positively." 

"It did come as a bit of a shock to learn I had a fracture," he admitted. "I've had the plate in my leg for three years so I've taken plenty of kicks on it. The more I tried to do on it this time, the worse it felt, so I was thinking there was something wrong.

"I went to see the specialist and he found a really small fracture above my plate. It wasn't in the same area as the plate, so it was made to feel worse because the plate was rubbing against it and not giving it a chance to heal. As soon as the plate came out it felt good as new, so I'm just glad it was done.

"It was a little bit frustrating that it took a little bit of time to find out what it was, but sometimes x-rays can come back and look fine. I had a CT scan, which was closer to the bone, and that was what showed I had a fracture there."

As to what type of patient he is, he said: "I do try to push the boundaries, but I know that can have a negative impact. I've seen lads I've played with show too much eagerness, do too much and then break down with a completely different injury. I don't want that.  

"When you're working one area so hard you have to be careful not to overwork others, but I do like to push myself and work hard. I don't think anybody likes sitting in the treatment room, especially when you have to listen to Dolly all day!" 

"Having said that, I completely accept that Dolly and Lee know more than me about recovery, but they also listen to my opinion," he told us. "If I feel like I need to do more, or if something is sore, I'll let them know. It works in tandem. They guide me, talk to each other and then decide what I need to do. I spoke to the manager as soon as I had the surgery and he told me to take my time and make sure I didn't break down."

And he admitted that not being involved in first team matters is the most frustrating aspect of all. 

"I'm a vocal member of the squad, but that can become difficult because I'm not around the lads all of the time," he commented. "You miss going out to training and you miss going to the away games, even though I do listen to them on the radio.

"I'll see the lads in the gym, or when we're having lunch, but I'm not around them all of the time. I miss playing and training more than anything. I like coming into work and going out to train, so that's the hardest part of all of this. When you're injured you can end up feeling a bit detached from the group.

"I do still give advice after home games. It's a completely different game when you've been watching it. I think you learn more when you take a seat back because you get to look at the bigger picture.

"Sometimes it's good to come out of the firing line and asses things, because you pick things up. I do try to pass things on when we're talking in the dressing room, and I drive in with Steven Rigg and Danny Grainger, so we have some good conversations on a morning."

"I was just getting a run of games before my injury so that's another annoying factor," he admitted. "We were doing alright, even though we did have some iffy results. We were starting to get a more settled side, but you just have to keep looking forward and thinking that when you are in the team you can make a difference. 

"You can't just sit back and relax. You want to think you can affect the game and the team. I think I can do that so I'm looking forward to getting back. I'm also looking forward to working with Anthony Griffith. The more good players we have in the building the better for everybody.  

"You want competition everywhere and you want people who are going to help the team, so I just want to be back and helping the team get up the league. It's hard to judge the group on our league position because we are where we are. 

"The table doesn't lie. You can look in the dressing room and ask why we are where we are, but you can't just keep thinking that. We've got to start producing it more consistently to prove that what we've been saying about the quality in the group is right. 

"There have been games where we had chances and got nothing out of it. The Cambridge home game was a good example of that. I don't think we've won a game like that this season and that has to change. 

"It was scrappy and even, but we came away with nothing. The more we can learn to grind out results the better. I know everybody wants to play well but we need to get a run together now. Hopefully we can get that going on Saturday."

And on when he expects to be back, he said: "I'd love to be back for Saturday, but I can't see it! I really need to get back training with the lads before we can set time frames. 

"It's a lot different when you're running on your own and it's hard to replicate training without actually doing it. As soon as I am back - you'll all be the first to know!"

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Gary Dicker now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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