Former Huddersfield Town defender Anthony Lloyd went into the new year with hope and optimism after ending 2009 on crutches following a shattering leg injury.
Lloyd had been ever present for Guiseley this season when he was injured in stoppage time of the UniBond League Premier Division clash at Kendal Town.
That was midway through November and the damage was so severe that Lloyd spent a week in hospital.
However, the 25-year-old, signed from Conference outfit York City, has had time to come to terms with his injury and has a sunny outlook.
"It was seven weeks ago now and the first three were the hardest - both mentally and physically,” said Lloyd, who once scored for the Terriers in a play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.
"It was tough to get my head around at first and difficult to lay down all the time in bed or on the sofa - I couldn’t do anything.
"I was in Lancaster Hospital from the Saturday it happened until the following Tuesday when they transferred me to BRI, and I was in there until the Saturday after.
"I couldn’t bend it at all after the surgery for six weeks, and I have been told I might need a second operation later to get rid of scar tissue. Otherwise I might not get full movement back and may never walk properly again.”
Lloyd’s knee took the full force of the tackle and the initial damage was so bad that the paramedics were administering first aid to prevent amputation. Renowned sports injury specialist Steve Bollen did the surgery, and many of his former patients are still making a living in the professional game thanks to his excellent work, so Lloyd has every reason to hope for a full recovery.
The player added: “I have been given some exercises to do now, I’m down to one crutch and I can walk. I have been told the next four weeks is a very important stage of the recovery process.
"I have five or six weeks more with the full brace on my knee and then I should be a lot more mobile. The joint is painful when I exercise it but it needs to be done, although I have been warned not to overdo it.
"As a footballer I suppose that that is very difficult to moderate it. You are more used to working that bit harder, doing that extra few 'reps', pushing yourself to the limit. That is not the right approach for rehabilitation work, so it’s a different mindset.
"I have been warned that there is only a slim chance that I will never play again but this is very early in the recovery.
"My goal is to play again but I have to walk before I can run and I have to run before I can even think about a comeback.
"But I miss my football and I’m desperate to play again. I have been to a few training sessions to see all the lads, and they have been great.
"I have even been to watch some games and now I’m getting quite jealous of the lads out on the pitch. I want to out there with them.”