DERBY’S O’BRIEN FACES A SUMMER OF PAIN
DERBY County defender Mark O’Brien is ready for a summer of hard labour as he battles back after knee surgery.
Time out is nothing new for the 20-year-old, who has already had heart and ankle operations in his short career.
His latest setback came in the warm-up before the game against Sheffield Wednesday on February 9 and he had surgery last month.
“I have been told that the recovery process will take around six months and the first six to eight weeks is the hardest part,” said O’Brien. “It is hard to pass the time but I am well aware that this is part of what I have to go through to get back playing again.
“It was a blow when I found out that it was going to be six months but I have been told that if I am doing well by four to five months, then they won’t slow my rehabilitation down.
“I have got my fingers crossed that it all goes according to plan and I can push on.
“I suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2011, and also had a defect on the knee, so I had an injection to try to help things along.
“Then when I came back from the injury, I played for a few weeks but during that time, I barely trained. It just wasn’t getting much better at all.
“I turned up to the game at Sheffield Wednesday not feeling any different than in any other game but when I went out to warm up, I felt pain in my knee straight away.
“I went back into the dressing room, got a bit of treatment and went back out to try again but it is devastating when you are just trying to keep working through the pain.
“When it came to the decision of an operation, there was only a handful of games left so we decided to get it done, which is going to help me in the long term.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs for me recently but the only thing I can do is, hopefully, come back next season stronger and fitter.
“I hope this is the end of all the bad injuries and I can get on with my career without many more setbacks.”