WHEN Ryan Cresswell walked off at Torquay back in the middle of September, neither he nor anyone connected with Rotherham United could possibly have envisaged that the skipper would not start another game for over six months.
The big central defender was expected to be a key figure this season but has almost had a lost campaign, initially due to an ankle injury that persisted.
After some very brief substitutes’ appearances right at the end of three games recently, the one-time Sheffield United Academy player was able to line up for a kick-off again at the weekend.
“It was a thrill and a pleasure to be back, to be honest,” said the 24-year-old after his return in the 1-0 win over Hereford last Saturday.
“Just great, too, to get a win and a clean sheet as well - always pleases us defenders does that,” he chuckled.
“It has been a long time, too long really that for one reason or another I’ve not been in the team.
“It has certainly been a frustrating time because I’ve a lot more to offer this football club yet I’ve not been able to give. So I can only look forward now to a better future.”
It is the second season that has been heavily chopped into by injury. Last season he suffered a dislocated shoulder which put him out for three months from mid-December.
He admitted that after so long out he was a bit nervous before Saturday’s game.
“But I’ve played a lot of games so there shouldn’t be any doubts and I shook off the cobwebs, although I think I should have scored right at the start with the header from a corner. Perhaps I was a bit rusty,” he laughed.
“The adrenalin, the rush you get, the emotions that come with playing in the first team are something you don’t get anywhere else in life and I wouldn’t change it for anything or for the buzz you get with three points.”
With the automatic promotion bid having ended some time ago and with the play-offs looking virtually out of reach, he said there was a sense of disappointment within the squad at the way things have unfolded.
“We have been inconsistent,” he said. “We’d win a game comfortably, then lose a game.
“The chopping and changing are reasons but there has been a million and one reasons for it.”