Having a child is a life-changing experience, just ask Lewis Buxton.
The Sheffield Wednesday right-back has spent the majority of the closed season looking after his eight-month-old daughter, but he is relishing every moment of fatherhood.
Lewis told The Star: “It’s been a bit different to previous years when my wife and I have just been able to go off and do our own thing.
“We’ve been looking after our daughter over the summer. I love being a dad. It is class but it’s hard work. It’s certainly different. Our baby sleeps most of the time apart from when she is teething.”
The Buxton household enjoyed a week-long family holiday in Dubai earlier this summer.
“We just chilled out and had a little break from it all,” said Lewis. “I’ve been to Dubai before but it was different this time.
“There was not too much sunbathing. It was all about keeping our daughter happy and making sure she was alright.
“We didn’t know what our daughter would be like on a plane but she was really good and enjoyed herself.”
Away from the joys of parenthood, Lewis has worked hard with Wednesday physio Paul Smith over the last couple of months to shrug off a knee injury he sustained away at Bournemouth towards the end of last season.
“I have been going down to the training ground over the summer to see Smudge [Paul Smith],” he said. “He has been helped me massively with my rehabilitation.”
It was the first time in the 30-year-old’s career he had torn medial ligaments in his knee.
Lewis said: “It was a weird injury. I went in for a tackle around their striker and my leg just got caught in the ground and my knee collapsed.”
Injuries restricted Lewis to 20 first-team appearances during the 2013/14 campaign.
The defender could not walk at one stage of pre-season last year because of shin splints - a condition that causes pain along the shinbone and can lead to a fracture. Lewis also picked up an ankle problem.
“I missed pre-season last year and that didn’t help me,” he conceded. “It just seemed to be one thing after another.”
Lewis reported back for the start of pre-season training, along with the rest of the Wednesday squad, on Tuesday.
He said: “I am fit now and that’s the main thing. It feels good to be back training again.
“I think it’s important to get a good pre-season under your belt. Hopefully I am going to do that this year.
“I want to play in as many pre-season games as I can and stay fit through the whole season.”