Doncaster Rovers: Danny Andrew strong in body and mind as he prepares to return to place that rocked his career
It was a day that would come to define the first year of Danny Andrew’s time at Doncaster Rovers.
In late August 2017 at AFC Wimbledon, in only his sixth game for the club, the left back damage his cruciate knee ligament and would miss the rest of the season.
That he suffered the injury very early in the game, yet played on to the final whistle and arguably had Rovers’ best chance of the game reflected the apparent initial lack of severity over the pain he was feeling. The true extent of the problem would only be revealed in a scan two days later.
But with 42 games for the club this season under his belt after a successful recovery, he is not at all haunted by that day at Kingsmeadow as he prepares to return there for the first time since on Saturday.
“It was necessarily that day that I really remember,” he said.
“I felt like my knee was in bits when it happened but it wasn’t necessarily in the moment of the game.
“It was after. The Monday when the scan came back and they told me my season was finished.
“All I could think was I’ve just played 90 minutes two days ago – how is that possible?
“It was tough.
“But with the amount of games that I’ve played this season, it’s all passed me now.”
Barring being subbed off on 66 minutes during the first game of the season, Andrew has played every minute of every league game for Rovers so far this term.
It reflects the strength of not only his knee, but his mindset following an injury which robbed him of nine months of his career.
“If there is a tackle there to go in for, I go in for it and don't even question the strength of my knee,” he said.
“I know I’ve been religious with my rehab and how I’ve done it.
“I had good staff behind me through my injury and I've been good with it this season.”
“One of the main things coming into the season, after only playing six games last season, my aim was to get my head down, do my work in the gym and make sure I was ready for every training session and every game,” he added.
“I’ve done that this season and luckily the gaffer has picked me for most of them.”
The 28-year-old hopes the only talk after his latest trip to Kingsmeadow is of a Rovers win against League One’s bottom side.
After two draws and a defeat in their last three, a victory would be ideal to ensure they remain in the division’s top six.
“We’ve picked up a couple of draws where could probably have had three points,” Andrew said.
“If you look at where we are in the league at the minute, we’re sitting in the minimum place where we’d want to be.
“It’s given us a really good opportunity and we have to take each game as it comes starting on Saturday when hopefully we’ll pick up three points to stay in the top six.”