Happy Lewis Buxton has told how he overcame “bizarre” summer problems and was determined to regain his place in the Owls side.
The right back was praised by boss Dave Jones for his “magnificent” effort in making his comeback in the 1-1 draw at Leeds after only three days of full training.
Last season’s Player of the Year was unable to walk at one stage of pre-season, because of shin splints - a condition that causes pain along the shinbone and can lead to a fracture. Then a mystery virus laid him low for a week and he had to go into hospital for tests.
He explained: “When we got into pre-season training I was struggling with the shin splints a bit. Usually it goes away, but it carried on and eventually I couldn’t walk.
“I gave it a couple of days then did the same thing again. I was a bit over-eager to get going.
“In the end the swelling got into my bone, and they said if you carry on you’ll fracture your bone, so leave it for a while. That was out in Portugal; I stopped completely.
“Just as I was getting back into it, I had a virus. It was bizarre. I don’t know what it was. They didn’t tell me. It knocked me out for a week. I was just sleeping the whole time. They did blood tests.
“I’m fine now and glad to be back. It was a local derby and straight in at the deep end. You know you’re going to be struggling a bit but if I get the opportunity to play, I’m going to take it.
“I’m going to work hard to regain the fitness I had at the end of last season.”
Buxton shared Jones’ view that the Owls should have had a late penalty for handball on Saturday.
“Pearce had his hand in the air, so I think it’s a penalty; the ball was going to Reda,” said the defender. “But we’ll take a draw.
“Hopefully we’ll get a few of those decisions.”