Saturday, 21 April 2007

Feeling Upbeat

The not-so-secret diary of Dean Ashton, aged 23 and three-quarters, has been updated today. There is quite a bit about his recovery and very little about anything else, which is probably indicative of where his priorities are at the moment.

Feeling upbeat about my second op
By Dean Ashton

I had a second operation on my ankle last month. It had to be done because I felt like I'd hit a brick wall in my recovery. For the last seven months I hoped that I might have been able to make it back in time for the end of the season, but I was having quite a bit of discomfort when I was running and I wasn’t able to push on and get myself back.

We had tried all the methods possible but something wasn’t right, so I went to see an ankle specialist and he said the best thing to do is go in with a camera and remove any scar tissue that was in there. They removed quite a lot, and I think that was the reason that my recovery had plateaued. The operation wasn’t as bad as when I first did it and I didn’t have a cast or anything, I just had to rest and put my feet up for two or three weeks while it healed. I was back on crutches during that time. It wasn’t ideal I've got to say, it was really hard work. But because I had got to a stage where I wasn’t making any progress I just saw it as something I had to do.

It was a lot easier to stay positive and keep myself busy this time around. It is not easy, I had done seven months out already and no-one likes to have an operation, but I feel as upbeat as I ever have. I am just going to work as hard as possible and get myself stronger and fitter than I was before. There are plenty of other players who have missed out this season as well; I'm not the only one. There's Michael Owen, Joe Cole, Jimmy Bullard, there are quite a few. It happens so I'm not going to let it get to me.

I am just about to start a new training program and it does feel a lot, lot better already. I did the two weeks of doing nothing, and now I am doing some swimming and generally getting movement going. I have also been up at Total Fitness in Manchester again; I found it beneficial last time so I've been there for some more intense treatment. I'm not too sure what I'm going to do next; perhaps some running in the hydrotherapy pool in the next couple of weeks. Then I can progress it on the exercise bike and cross trainer to see how it reacts.

My aim is to get running by the end of the season. The pressure is off in one sense because I know I am not coming back this season, so I don’t feel like I'm against the clock, but even so I want to get fit as soon as possible - the sooner the better. I am not going to just take my time for the sake of it. The idea is to get back ASAP, and then I can work as hard as I can to be ready for pre-season and the season itself.

I don’t really want to go into how the team are doing at the moment, but only for the reason that I haven’t been watching all the games in full, I've just been getting on with my work. I also don’t really have a firm opinion because I haven’t been around the place to know what's going on. I would love to get involved with the lads but unfortunately it just doesn't work like that when you're injured.

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