The man who looked after Gary Caldwell’s physical wellbeing for all 55 of his international caps is now looking after his Chesterfield team.
Scotland national team physio Michael McBride became the Spireites’ head of physiotherapy and performance this summer.
His long history with Caldwell stretches back to 2002 and helped pave the way for a Proact move.
“I worked with Gary for two years at Wigan, it was a very easy decision to come here, he’s fantastic to work with,” said McBride.
“I knew what he was going to create here and wanted to be a part of that.
“I think 2002 was his first international game and I’ve been involved with Scotland since then as well.
“He had 55 caps and I’ve done all his games, his entire international career.”
In a nutshell, McBride’s job is to look after players’ health.
There’s a little more to it, in reality.
“I work with Gareth (Piper, fitness coach) and the staff, trying to keep people healthy, try to make them that bit stronger and more flexible.
“I try and help them with injury prevention and when they do unfortunately get injured, try and make them better.”
There is part of the role that he doesn’t relish.
“The downside of the job is delivering the bad news, that is hard,” he said.
“I don’t like that bit, when you have to tell them soneone is going to be out, or tell the player first and then the manager they’ll be out for weeks or months.”
When he arrived at the end of June, McBride inherited the complex, year-long injury situation that has faced goalkeeper Tommy Lee.
According to the Scot, it was relatively simple getting up to speed with Lee’s predicament and a three-way dialogue helped.
“It’s not that long a process really, just read his medical notes, speak to him and get a full detailed history on what he’s done, look at his rehab programme, what he’s been doing and work with Dukey (Matt Duke, keeper coach) on what we should do with his rehab on the grass.
“It’s been quite a good collaboration between the three of us, Tommy has a bit of input into that as well.”
Lee was one of several players who had complicated injuries over the past 18 months.
While McBride, who will retain his position in the Scotland set-up, would obviously love to wave a magic sponge and make his players bullet-proof it’s more realistic to work on keeping ‘run of the mill’ injuries to a minimum.
“The complicated ones sometimes can be difficult to prevent,” he said.
“We’ve just got to reduce the more common ones if we can, muscle injuries and things like that.
“Or if they do get them that they’re not as severe because they’re a bit more robust and resilient and can cope with Saturday-Tuesdays for the long season ahead.
“Gary wants to get them fit, he works them hard on the grass and in the gym and hopefully that will reduce some of the more preventable injuries.”