Barry Bannan has opened up about the frustration he felt in being unable to help his Sheffield Wednesday team mates in their darkest times this season.
The Owls midfielder described as ‘depressing’ his spell on the sidelines after suffering a groin injury in December, from which he has only just recovered.
Bannan returned to the squad on Saturday, coming on as a second half substitute for the Owls’ 2-1 Yorkshire derby win over Leeds United at Elland Road.
That brought to an end a painful three month period where difficulties on the pitch were being compounded by the sheer weight of the list of injured players unable to take part.
For Scotland international Bannan, it was the longest he has ever been unavailable through injury and a time he won’t look back on too fondly.
Now he is back, though, Bannan is hopeful he will be mentally stronger for the experience.
“It was depressing to be honest,” he said.
“ It’s hard to say, when you love football as much as I do and it’s taken away and you try and come back and break down its hard to take.
“It’s a different side of the game that you have to cope with.
“Hopefully I am over this now, touch wood, and I will be stronger for it.
“Its been a really tough time; I was out for three months, I love football, I live and breathe it and for me to be out and have that taken away was hard.
“It was the longest injury I’ve ever had in football. Hopefully I can kick on and finish the season strong.”
Bannan admits he’s not completely recovered but hopes the international break will give him the opportunity to catch up in his level of fitness.
The midfielder replaced Sam Hutchinson after 65 minutes and certainly felt his return to action.
“I forgot how hard it was,” he admitted. “I’ve not really probably trained or done as much as much as I’d like but it’s desperate times at the minute. I’d a 30 minute run-out and it felt like 130.
“The international break has come at a good time for me, I can get fit and ready to go.”
“It’s getting better week-by-week,” he added.
“It’s still not 100% but its getting stronger and stronger but I think its just a matter of getting out there and playing again.
“The physios have been brilliant with me, some of the work has been stuff I’ve never done before and its definitely helped me.
“I’ve just got to keep working hard and soon I’ll be back to 100%.”