What was the exact nature of the injury?
It was the anterior cruciate ligament. People maybe don’t fully realise how it affects everything you’re doing. After the operation, it was difficult for a few weeks. I never really knew the extent of it because I’d never had such a severe injury. My initial reaction was ‘maybe I’ll be fine for pre-season’, as it was the last game of that campaign. My first thoughts were also that I was going on holiday soon and I wanted to be on that plane – I was worn out by that point because it had been a long season. You just never think anything like that is going to happen. I ended up having a second surgery towards the end of last season – they drained my knee out because I was getting some swelling with it. It set me back two or three months because you have to build up the muscles again in your legs. But there was no rush anyway at that point, with it being the summer, so it made sense to get it right.
Sir Alex had you in the dressing room to join in the title celebrations last season. That seemed like a really nice touch…
He got me in there so I was in amongst it and it was a great feeling. I was sat in the directors’ box and they said go and be a part of it. Sir Alex was always very welcoming to the young lads and happy to have them around. One of my biggest frustrations was, at the time I was injured, Sir Alex said I would be part of the first-team squad. I knew he was very disappointed about that so it was tough to take. But that’s football.
The club also made the decision to take you to Texas for the Dallas Cup even though you couldn't play. Did that help as well?
It was about getting a change of scenery really as I'd been in the gym here for so long. The lads had the tournament so it was a chance for me to get away to do my work in a different setting. Warren [Joyce] was all for it and encouraged me to go out and the medical staff said it was a good idea as they continued to look after me when I was out there. I got a lot out of it.