Little Common footballer Adam Smith is poised to return to action after nine months out with a broken leg.
The lightning quick 19-year-old attacking player broke his tibia and fibula in the Easter Monday derby against Bexhill United last April, but would have made his comeback in a reserve team game against Sidlesham last weekend had it not been postponed.
He said: “I want to play as soon as possible, even if it’s only 10 minutes here and there. It doesn’t feel 100 percent normal like before, but I’m not sure whether that will come with time. I still feel pretty quick and I’ve felt sharp in training. It’s definitely getting there and I just can’t wait to get back playing.
“I had worries I might not be able to play again and whether I would be the same, but I’ve not really had any reaction from my leg as such. The break feels fine, but I’m more worried about my knee now. Since my return I’ve been getting pain in the side of my knee when I kick the ball now and then. It’s nothing that will stop me, but it’s a pain you don’t want there.”
The rod and screws that were placed in Smith’s leg to keep the bone straight as it healed remain in situ, although he has spoken to the doctor about the possibility of having them removed.
“I started (light) training probably a few weeks before Christmas, but it wasn’t until after Christmas I had my first session all in,” he continued. “I’ve had a few little tackles here and there, and nothing bad has happened so far.
“Everybody’s been amazing down at Little Common, just asking me how I’m doing, how the recovery feels. I think I’ve only missed one league game watching, but it’s very frustrating and heartbreaking to miss (playing in) so many games, and not even be able to get involved with the warm-up or anything like that.”
Bexhill-based Smith also expressed sympathy for Dan Hill, who broke his leg playing for Common against Eastbourne Borough last month.
“I didn’t really know him, but he had been absolutely brilliant to me,” Smith said. “He’s a lovely person and was great in the changing room, an all-round good bloke.”
Common player-manager Russell Eldridge said of Smith’s return: “It’s fantastic for him and for us. We’re hopeful he can get some minutes over the next few weeks, but obviously we’re not going to rush it because it’s important that he comes back properly. It’s been a long journey and he seems to have coped well. No-one will be happier than myself to see him back playing.”