Sheffield Wednesday: Keiren Westwood vows to bounce back after injury-hit campaign

Keiren Westwood is currently recovering from a groin injury
Keiren Westwood is currently recovering from a groin injury
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It has been a season to forget for Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

The 33-year-old, a big crowd favourite at Hillsborough, has not played since December 9 due to a groin injury.

Westwood has not played since the Owls' defeat at Norwich on December 9

Westwood has not played since the Owls' defeat at Norwich on December 9

Westwood made only 18 Championship appearances as Wednesday finished 15th in the rankings.

But the Republic of Ireland international, who reckons he is a fortnight away from kicking a ball and returning to training, has vowed to put a frustrating year behind him.

Speaking in an interview with the Irish Independent, Westwood said: “I’ve missed football. I have really missed playing.

“Sometimes you are so ingrained in football that you forget to enjoy it. Because there is a lot of pressure, and you are trying to make thousands of people happy every week, and win matches and ease that pressure, you can forget how much you love the game in the first place.

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“It is game after game after game after game, and it is draining and it becomes just work, I suppose, and you get lost in it. When you have a long spell out, and this is the second surgery I have had in my career, you realise how much you really do miss playing.

“I’ve had ups and downs, obviously, and setbacks and frustrations, and it has been a pretty crap season and not what I expect from the standards I have set myself.

“But I had it after I had a shoulder injury and surgery at Sunderland, signed for Sheffield Wednesday and in that first season made Championship team of the year. This has given me a new enthusiasm to come back, get fit, get playing again and bounce back, as I did then.”

It was just before Christmas that Westwood went under the knife but the experienced shot-stopper, who was diagnosed with Gilmore’s Groin at the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign, admits he came back too soon.

“I was so desperate to play because the team were struggling, but the guideline from the surgeon was to train after eight weeks and I was probably back on the training ground in week seven and I broke down in virtually the first session, kicking a ball,” he said. “I have spoken to a surgeon I know since and he said I should have been looking at 10 to 12 weeks. If I had known that I could have worked with that and got my head round it, but I really wanted to get back.

“I have been fine with the injuries and the surgery and keeping within the guidelines. Being injured is part and parcel of football. It is just the setbacks which have been frustrating.”

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