ALDERSHOT TOWN defender George Fowler admits even he is surprised to have got as many minutes under his belt as he has in the past few weeks after being out for eight months with a knee injury.
The former Ipswich Town centre-back, pictured right, injured his knee while stretching for a ball in training last November. It was initially hoped an injection would see the defender back within weeks but after it failed to work, Fowler was forced to go under the knife.
“I blocked a cross in training and my leg was fully extended so it clicked inside,” the 21-year-old explained. “It was a small tear in my meniscus and the medial one was quite loose so I had to have that repaired.
“I had an injection and was told I might be able to come back within a month, and having not had an operation before, I went with that.
“Unfortunately that didn’t work though and so I wasted six weeks with that.
“Then I had the operation and it got towards the end of the season and I still wasn’t quite there so I didn’t want to rush myself when I had the whole of the off-season to do extra rehab and get myself right.”
Going into pre-season, Fowler was still not 100% but since then his recovery has progressed with lightning speed as he has gone from being unable to train with the squad to playing an hour in the friendly against a Portsmouth XI, and then 50 minutes in the National League season opener against AFC Fylde.
And the player credits Aldershot’s head of medical Russ Clash with speeding up his progression.
“I went to St George’s a few times and that really benefited me,” he said. “A lot of credit goes to Russ as well, I’ve done a lot of work with him and also the gaffer was brilliant when I came in and said I could have seven to 10 days with Russ rather than go straight into training.
“A lot of managers, especially not having seen me play, wouldn’t have been happy with that.
“That definitely helped me ease back into training and then I began to tackle, and then as I went into the pre-season games it was getting confidence tackling.