Two weeks away from comeback
Ex-QPR player just needs match fitness
HOGAN Ephraim is desperate for Wycombe Wanderers to see the best of him – but has warned it may take him a few more weeks to get match fit.
The former QPR and West Ham man picked up a back injury in only his third game for the club, against Burton Albion in November, and when it went again in his following game, against AFC Wimbledon, he spent almost two months on the sidelines.
But the 26-year-old former England youth international managed his first full 90 minutes since joining the club in last week’s 2-0 defeat to Plymouth and, despite being an unused sub in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Newport, he is ready to put a frustrating spell behind him.
He said: “The injury was a weird one. I had a bulging disc affecting the nerve in my back, and even when I walked it would trigger.
“I knew it had happened straight away, but I didn’t know just how bad it was. I was in real pain, but the adrenaline carried me through and I carried on playing.
“I’d been fortunate enough to have never really had an injury and it was frustrating. But I’ve been spending every day in the gym and I’m feeling a lot stronger.
“I’m feeling good, but match fitness is a whole other ball game. Hopefully it will take just a couple more weeks, because I want to show everyone what I can do.” Wycombe Wanderers’ Hogan Ephraim wants to show Chairboys fans what he can do Photo by Grant Humphreys
Having been released by QPR in July, after six years at Loftus Road, Ephraim found himself without a club for the first time and went almost four months before Wycombe came in.
He said: “It was the first time I’ve been without a club, but I was always confident I would get something. You see some players drop out of the game, but that was never an option. I didn’t enjoy it last year and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had a few months out and had a few offers, but the move here seemed perfect and it all came together nicely.”
Ephraim was a former QPR teammate of the man who brought him back into the game, Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth, and had already played under him when when Ainsworth had two spells as caretaker manager at Loftus Road.
Ephraim added: “Gaz was a bit of a wild one but you knew what you were getting. He always takes you at face value, which is his character as a manager, and that’s a massive help because that’s what I need. It was different for him then as he had to stop being one of the boys, but he never distanced himself.”
Wycombe will look to get back on track on Saturday when they make the long journey to Carlisle.
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