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FISH: I WON'T RUSH GETTING BACK

13 February 2014

Gills defender focused on being fit for next season as he continues to recover from ligament injury

Matt Fish says his main focus is ensuring he is 100% fit for next season as he continues to recover from a knee ligament injury.

The Gills right back suffered the injury on the opening day of the season against Colchester and was ruled out for the rest of the campaign soon after.

Fish doesn’t expect to feature before May and has instead decided to work towards pre-season where he hopes to be close to full fitness.

Speaking to the club website he said: “I feel good, I feel strong and my knee probably feels stronger than before the operation. I’ve been running, kicking the ball, and doing pretty much everything.

“It’s more of a confidence thing now down the training ground, I need a bit more muscle in my leg but I see the surgeon next week and hopefully he gives me the all clear – that will be my six month check-up.

“The surgeon will probably say give it until the end of the month to be safe but I’ll ease my way back in. Gary [Physio] reckons once a week and then we build it up throughout March and increase the contact.

“I’m not pushing to play this season, if I do it’s a bonus but ideally I’m looking to get back pre-season.

“I certainly won’t rush it. I’ll be in during May while everyone is off because I will want to keep the muscles in my legs going.”

Matt reflected on the moment he suffered the injury and knew straight after the game that it may be a long term issue.

He said: “It was a twist; I thought the ball was going behind me and it popped out in front. I twisted and my leg stayed in the ground as my body was going the other way.

“It was probably the worst pain I have ever felt for a couple of minutes but after that I thought I could play on, but I walked off and saw the doctor in the physio room.

“He didn’t want to say anything but the look on his face suggested it was bad but I didn’t want to believe it.

“It wasn’t a great start to the season but I feel I have come out of it mentally stronger and by the time I come back I will be fitter than I was before.”

The defender admitted he has found it tough not being able to play, but praised the impact of Michael Harriman and Elliott Hewitt who have filled in on the right hand side in his absence.

He added: “Up until Christmas it was really frustrating, I would come to the games and see the lads before and after the match. We haven’t had many games here and I’ve had other things to do at the weekend.

“It’s been hard but I’ve tried not to let it get to me and I think my rehab has been good with the physios - they have mixed it up and every day has been different.

“As soon as I got injured and knew I wasn’t going to be playing I thought of Mike straight away because of the way he played against us once for Wycombe.

“I think he has been one of the best consistent new players we have had this season. I’ve seen him play a number of times here and I’ve heard away from home has played really well.

“He and Elliott seem to work well together on that right side – the previous gaffer filled the position right and the new gaffer has got Elliott in who has made things even stronger so that was a good decision.”

Watch Matt’s exclusive interview on Player.

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