Joe Wildsmith hails spirit of Sheffield Wednesday camp as big factor in ahead-of-time return from knee injury

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith said the spirit and support of staff and players at the club helped him to make a speedy recovery from a long-term knee injury.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 11:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 2:30 pm

The 24-year-old returned to action ahead of time for the Owls under-23s earlier this month and has been on the bench for the last two first team games in the absence of Keiren Westwood.

Initial assessments on a knee injury suffered in pre-season suggested Wildsmith would be out until the new year.

And while the keeper admits life was tough in and out of the treatment room, the support of his teammates spurred him on to make a full recovery.

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“It was new for me,” he said. “I’ve had injuries before but not on the scale of what I had. It was tough.

“You have your first couple of weeks where it dawns on you but you soon realise you’re still going in every day, you’re still in the gym, you’re still with the lads.

“You’re not isolated and the lads didn’t let me get isolated, which was great.

“It was easier than I thought it was going to be going into it.”

Joe Wildsmith collects a Nottingham Forest corner for Sheffield Wednesday under-23s in their 3-3 draw at Hillsborough earlier this month.

Wildsmith has admitted that he would consider a January loan move away from Wednesday should manager Garry Monk believe that is the way forward for his development.

But for now, the youngster is happy being back involved.

He said: “I feel good and now it’s just a case of building up, getting up to speed and kicking on into the new year.

“The timing was massive. It killed any momentum going into the season before it even started.

“I can only praise the staff, the boys, the physio lads. They’ve been great with me.

“They’ve all been boosting me up. Of course you have days where you’re not as lively as everyone else, but the lads have been great with me.

“The physios were unbelievable. We went to see a specialist and two weeks before Christmas I’m out playing.

“They’ve worked their socks off to try and the encouragement from everyone has been outstanding.

“I can’t thank everyone enough.”