Leighton Baines has admitted he felt ‘sick’ when he did his ankle ligaments on the eve of the new season.
“I did it two days before the Watford game, blocking a shot,” Baines explained to the ECHO.
“It went numb straight away but I felt a little bit sick in my stomach. There wasn’t a great deal of pain but there was numbness when the physio was putting his fingers into it.
“And then, hours after, it had ballooned up.
“The first operation, the ligaments had gone and he’d had to take off quite a lot of bone and restructure the surface.
“He had to reattach the ligaments but the second time, the repair had snapped but there was also another ligament as well, so that was a case of reattaching that ligament. There was no bone work this time but the timescale is the same.
“If I had just had bone work done then it would have only been six to eight weeks but if you have ligament work done then it’s 12.
“I felt really good coming back. It’s the longest I’ve ever had out and I enjoy training and running, maybe a bit too much, but I’d have nine or 10 days off and then I would start running again.
“So the break was forced on me, I couldn’t do anything aerobically for six weeks and I’ve not done that ever.
“So it was a forced break but maybe you start to think it was meant to be, but it is hard to buy into that the second time it happens. But you kind of have to, re-set and take the positives again.
“I’ve just got to be patient now and not rush and not get frustrated if I’m a bit rusty for a few weeks. I need to take my time.
“There are aspects of that [psychological barriers]. It feels good, it feels strong – but then it did last time.
“So I have just got to get on with it and the surgeon said I was only the second person to come back to him in the hundreds of these operations he’s done.
“He didn’t say who the other person was but did say they were years and years apart – mine were back-to-back.
“So for it to happen again would be freakish.
“Ten days ago I was floating on the edge of training, not really able to get involved, but now I’m right in it and have to deal with a lot of those things, even though it’s a little bit more controlled in training.
“So it’s about now going into these games and getting back to being at that point where I am able to return.”
“He’s [Galloway] done brilliant,” buzzed Baines.
“You would never think this was his first full season for us at this level. He has done unbelievably well and he reminds me a lot of Stonesy in his manner. He’s very calm, very composed, got good quality and he will keep progressing.”