IT’S not too advisable to mention the word ‘luck’ around Ryan Cresswell. After all, he’s not had a great deal of it this season.
Anyway, if he’s ‘lucky’ from now on then the Rotherham United central defender might just end the season the way he began it.
That was with 11 successive appearances as he began a career with his home-town club after leaving Bury. After returning against his former club last Saturday, he can make it another 11 on the trot to the season’s end - and Millers fans will hope there won’t be any more after that!
In between what could be the two sets of 11 matches have been five months of ... well, not a lot for him apart from plenty of heartache and pain.
It was against Bury at the beginning of October that his initial run was halted due to a family bereavement.
Then came some back trouble (including forcing a half-time exit in one game and during the warm-up in another) before a damaging injury blow when he broke his collar bone, with some complication as well, back on December 11 when the giant Aldershot forward, Marvin, Morgan fell on top of him.
“I don’t like talking about being unlucky but I think I have been,” said the central defender whose formative years were in the Sheffield United Academy.
“I did the shoulder in a tackle and I don’t think anybody elsewhere, anywhere at any club, has done that sort of injury in that way,” he said.
“Then, when I got back training, I just went over on my ankle and, as far as I know, nobody here has done that this season and been put out by it. But I did.
“But, look, it’s all behind me now and it’s about looking to the final stretch and I want to play in all the games.
“We want to put some results together - and let’s get out of this league.”
After his three months out, Ryan said it was “a good feeling” to be playing again and putting on the captain’s armband which had to be given up by Nick Fenton who pulled out when he failed a fitness test on a thigh strain suffered in training.
“It can get you down when you’re out a long time and your teammates are training and you’re watching them playing,” he said.
“But I concentrated on getting my head down and getting myself fit.”
“It was a great game to come back into last Saturday and now we’ve got another big one on Friday at Chesterfield who are well clear at the top and the lads know the importance of it to everybody, what with the local rivalry and everything.”
Perhaps, then, he may reckon he’s been ‘lucky’ after all in that at least he’s back in time to play in it!