Midfielder Nicky Adams has taken the first step on the road back to recovery today having had surgery on the Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury picked up during the first half of the home game against Yeovil Town earlier this month.
Adams, 31, has been a near ever-present in the side since joining the Blues two summers ago and has notched three goals in his 69 appearances for the club so far.
Speaking candidly about his first few days following the incident, he said: “I was obviously devastated when I got the news. It was a hard couple of days.
“The funny thing is that I came off the pitch after it happened, and it felt a bit strange, but on the Sunday I felt alright. I was walking around on it and everything. I took Archie [Nicky’s son] to his football game and I was walking around like normal. I was testing it - I could even do a little squat - so I thought there was nothing wrong.
“When I got the news [confirming the injury] on the Monday, after my scan, it just completely deflated me. The only way I can describe it is that I’ve been unlucky. I haven’t been tackled badly, it’s just the luck of the draw.
“The incident itself was weird. I hold no blame at all on the Yeovil player, it was just an accidental collision. I thought he was going one way, but his touch took him into me and unfortunately, I was just stood still. When he ran into me my back leg was planted and it was totally accidental.”
“I knew something was wrong though,” he continued. “I do get kicked a lot, but I always get back up. I knew something was wrong straight away and it actually felt like I’d broken my leg.
“After a minute or so the initial pain had gone, so I got up and told Dolly I could carry on. The gaffer had already made the sub so that gave us the chance to get inside and see what was what. As I was walking past the goals in the Waterworks End my leg gave way a little bit, and it felt weak more than anything. It wasn’t sore, it was just weak. That’s when I knew I’d done something. I just didn’t know what.”
“It was Dolly [club physio Neil Dalton] who phoned me and told me what I’d done on the Monday night, and I felt like the world had crashed around me,” he explained. “The next day I was at home on my own and I put the tweet out to everybody because I just felt like I needed to talk to someone.
“When I got back to the house that night I had a little cry to myself, and I’m not usually like that. I’m soft at times, but nothing really bothers me. That was one of those occasions when I did get a bit upset and I was grumpy for a couple of days.
“It really hit home when Archie asked me to go and play football with him, which I obviously couldn’t. That was horrible.”
So how did he begin the process of picking himself up?
“I could have kept on feeling really low, but I knew I had to get it in my head that it’s happened, I can’t change that, and now I just need to crack on,” he commented. “Nothing will dampen my spirits now. I’ll be back and I’ll make sure I am in good spirits, I can guarantee you that.
"The thing is I know I’ll come back as good as I ever was, so I’ll be fine.”
Having never been absent for a prolonged period of time before, in a career which has seen him make 495 appearances to date, he told us: “During my career I haven’t really had a long injury, so it’s a bit of a shock. When it happened, I was thinking to myself, ‘I don’t get injured – this doesn’t happen to me.’
“If I do get injured I’m out for six weeks at a time, maximum. I did injure my other knee when I was younger and I think I was out for three months, but it happened at the end of a season. That meant I was only injured over the summer and I didn’t miss much football.
“Like I say, the important thing is for me to get my head around it all. I’ve talked to a few people about it and a positive way of looking at it is that it will give my body a chance to completely recover and come back stronger. A long time ago you might not have played again with this injury, but no one will tell me that I won’t come back better.
“When I saw the surgeon he told me it happens all the time and people come back with no problems at all. I’ve got that positive mindset, I’ll come back better, and everyone knows I believe in myself anyway. I’m still the best player here even with only one leg! I’m only joking, but that’s how positive I’m feeling.”
As for the operation itself which, as you can see by the picture, has been a success, he told us: “As soon as I saw the surgeon it reassured me. Dolly got me in with the top guy in London and I know players who have been with him for this operation and they’ve come back with no problems at all. I believe that will be the same with me.
“It was quite strange because when he first looked at my knee it genuinely looked like nothing was wrong at all. Then the scan obviously tells you there is something wrong inside. He was more than confident, he sees this type of injury all the time, so he’s happy that I’ll be fine.
“What I won’t do is try to rush things. It’ll be frustrating, but I’ll listen to Dolly and take his advice on when I should be doing different things during my rehab. If I try and come back too soon all that’ll happen is that I’ll put myself at risk. I’ve got to think of the long-term.
“If I come back once I’ve done my full eight months rehab, that will take me to pre-season and I’ll be able to go into that absolutely flying. I’m really aware that if I come back too soon, and get complications or anything like that, it will just set me back again.
"I’m going to do it properly and I’ll be back for pre-season with a smile on my face and kicking a ball again.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Nicky Adams on iFollow United now.