The 2007/08 campaign may be hugely successful for the Reds, but for Ben Foster, the United goalkeeper forced out for eight months with a serious cruciate knee ligament injury, it’s been a write off.
After an England call-up as reward for his outstanding displays on loan at Watford, the challenge of trying to depose Edwin van der Sar as United’s no.1 was next on the 24-year-old’s hit list.
Then the bad news came: a recurring cruciate knee ligament injury that would require surgery, putting his ambitions on hold. Now on the verge of making a reserves return, he explains how he has coped with the long road to recovery…
Can you explain your injury for us?
I ruptured my cruciate knee ligament. It’s an injury I’ve suffered before, years ago when I was at Stoke City. As this is the second time I’ve had the injury, the doctors decided that I should have a donor tendon. It’s had good results for other patients in the past, and the surgeon thought it would be the best option for me. The recovery time is two months longer, because it takes time for the tendon to set in and knit. It was a usual cruciate operation, but with a donor.
How long do you think it will be before you’re playing first-team football again?
I haven’t really thought about it too much. At the start of the season I wrote this season off myself. I just wanted to recover from the operation and get back to full fitness, with maybe a few reserves games. The chance of going out on loan is probably gone now. I think I will just have to wait until next season, realistically. Edwin [van der Sar] has been excellent again this season and Tomasz [Kuszczak] has performed well when he has been called in. I’ve got no qualms about not being put in any time soon.
What have you been doing during the eight months you’ve been out?
It’s really hard. People perhaps won’t realise that you’re going to work every day.