Just half an hour into the away game at Salford back at the beginning of February this year there was a collective holding of the breath when right back Joel Senior was quite clearly hurt when he stayed on the ground after a heavy challenge with just half an hour on the match day clock.
Having completed a winter window move to Cumbria just a month early, he was settling in and becoming a bit of a favourite when the tumble happened, and it was confirmed very quickly thereafter in the days that followed that his worst fears had been confirmed – a nasty ACL rupture.
Fast forward 10 months and 60 minutes in a Central League Cup game has been complemented by 80 minutes in the Cumberland Cup, the latter of which saw him get up and brush himself off after being chopped to the floor with absolutely no airs or graces in the Bransty box during the first half on Tuesday night.
“I thought he was fantastic, especially in that first half,” coach Mark Birch told us. “Some of the crosses he put in, he was causing all kinds of problems.
“In the second half he was up and down in front of us. That’s another plus from the night that Joel’s come away from it and he’s starting to look fit, and he looked comfortable on the ball.
“I think when you’ve come through something like that you’ve got to start getting confidence within your body that you can actually do it.
“He’s got about 80 minutes under his belt, he’s probably going to feel the full 80 minutes tomorrow morning and the day after, but it’s fantastic for him after what he’s been through.
“It’s one of the major plus points from the night that he looked so comfortable in everything he did.”