Tenacious midfielder Josh Scowen is raring to return to the Reds line-up after nearly three months on the treatment table, writes Rob Hayes.
The 22-year-old is back in training with the first team after a lengthy lay-off dating back to the beginning of November.
And having worked hard on his rehabilitation following a medial knee ligament injury, he know he faces a tough task to force his way back into manager Lee Johnson’s starting XI.
“That’s one problem I’ve got to face when it comes,” admitted Scowen.
“I’ll do what I can do in training to put myself back in the gaffer’s mind and hopefully if my chance comes I’ll try to grab it with both hands.
“I’ll be back at the end of January if everything goes to plan. Everything is going well so far.”
Scowen had been a mainstay in the side earlier in the season, scoring four times in 19 appearances before limping off in the disastrous FA Cup defeat to Altrincham.
And he admitted his despair at being sidelined for so long after initially not realising how serious his problem was.
“This is the worst injury I’ve had,” he said.
“I’ve done both ankles before but that was nowhere near as bad as what I’ve done to my knee.
“I didn’t realise how bad the injury was at the time, I tried to play on! But the gaffer [Lee Johnson] and the physio [Craig Sedgewick] said I had to come off.
“I thought it was something minor, just an impact injury maybe. But when I went for the scan and they said I’d be out for three months I was really shocked.”
Barnsley boss Johnson is expecting to have Scowen fit within the next 10 days as the former Wycombe Wanderers man steps up his training regime. Once fit he will compete with new loan signing Josh Brownhill and academy graduate Brad Abbott in a bid to partner star man Conor Hourihane in the middle of the park.
And after watching his team-mates turn around their miserable early season run of results, Scowen is confident that he can come back in and contribute to a more successful second half of the campaign.
“We did it last year, we went on a good run and just missed out on the play-offs in the end, so why not?” he added.
“There’s always a chance, you never know in football.
“We’ve just got to keep working hard and show what we’re capable of.”