Sam Hutchinson has assured Sheffield Wednesday’s supporters there is no need to worry about his injury record.
Since making his senior debut at the age of 18 for Chelsea, Hutchinson has clocked up less than 30 appearances in his career.
Indeed, he was forced to retire nearly four years ago because of a chronic knee injury. Hutchinson underwent a series of operations on his knee and travelled to America to see numerous specialists.
But Hutchinson defied the odds and fought back and earned himself a new contract at Chelsea under Andre Villas-Boas.
However, Hutchinson was unable to break into Chelsea’s first-team and the Premier League heavyweights released him at the end of the 2013/14 campaign.
The 24-year-old impressed during a loan spell at Hillsborough last season, making 10 appearances, prompting the Owls to offer him a two-year deal this summer which he duly accepted.
Hutchinson, who played six times for Chelsea, insists his injury troubles are now behind him.
He told The Star: “I’m very sure, if I get selected, I can play every game. We will see how it goes.
“I just have to manage my body. Some days I will do one training session and others I will do two. With the manager [Stuart Gray], he looks after me so he knows what I need. I know what I need. As long as I’m fit for the games, that’s all that matters.
“I will run through brick walls for this club like I have done for my previous teams.”
The versatile player, who can be deployed at right-back, centre-half or in central midfield, is adamant he is fit and ready to prove his worth.
He said: “I am confident in my own ability and my fitness. It is just sometimes when you get other people mixing in and stuff like that which doesn’t help. I think I have had that a lot in my career.
“Here, they let me manage myself more and I’m really looking forward to that because I understand my body better than anyone. I know when it hurts and I know what makes it hurt. I’m pretty sure I’m mature enough to look after myself and that I will be able to play nearly every game.”
Hutchinson said he was “gutted” to miss the first week of Wednesday’s pre-season training programme. Now he hopes to make up for lost time and feature prominently in their warm-up matches. Gray’s men travel to York City for their opening friendly tomorrow.
“I was a bit gutted to miss the first week of pre-season training,” said Hutchinson. “I’m glad to be back and enjoying myself with the rest of the lads.
“The most important thing for me is to get games under my belt, not to do too much and to stay on top of my fitness.”
West Bromwich Albion and Millwall expressed an interest in Hutchinson’s services but he said Wednesday were his first choice.
Hutchinson said: “I told my agent straight away that I wanted to sign for Sheffield Wednesday.I have been speaking to Stuart since May. I have a great relationship with him. I owe him a lot for giving me a chance here.
“I played games on a more consistent level last year than I’ve played anywhere else. I think that is down to the management, the fitness coach and the manager. Everyone really looked after me.”