Sheffield Wednesday: Gary Hooper looks to put last year’s injury ordeal behind him

Gary Hooper
Gary Hooper
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Gary Hooper is desperate to put an injury-hit year behind him by leading the Owls to promotion glory.

Injuries plagued the Owls striker throughout the 2016/17 campaign, restricting him to just 16 Championship starts.

Hooper, who jetted out to the Algarve with the rest of Wednesday’s squad to kick-off their pre-season training camp yesterday, picked up two serious hamstring problems.

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After a four month spell on the sidelines, the 29-year-old returned to action in April and played a leading role in Wednesday securing a play-off place for the second consecutive year.

But Hooper suffered yet another hamstring knock in training before the start of the play-offs, ruling him out of both legs of the Huddersfield Town tie.

He told The Star: “It was probably the worst year I’ve had with injuries in my career but that’s life and you just have to get on with it. Injuries aren’t something you can control but I couldn’t believe I hurt my hamstring again. I was absolutely gutted.

“As soon as I found out the results, I tried my hardest to get ready for the final but we didn’t get there. It was frustrating because I had a good run in the side before the injury and I fancied us against Huddersfield.

“We had won six games in a row and were playing well. We felt it was going to be our year. We had the squad to get to the final but it just didn’t happen.”

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Having worked hard on strengthening his hamstring over the summer, Hooper is back playing again and enjoying his football. He has featured in the second half of both their friendlies against Alfreton Town and Mansfield Town.

“I had a bit of time off over the summer but I basically spent every week working on getting my hamstring ready,” said Hooper.

“I didn’t go mad on it just in case I broke down. I don’t want to get injured again.

“I want to stay fit the whole season, score goals and help the team win games.

“Hopefully it will be third time lucky.”

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