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22 December 2018

After nearly four months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, Gavin Massey is raring to go and ready to build on his blistering form at the start of the season.

Wigan Athletic v Birmingham City Tickets
Cash turnstiles on the East and South Stands.

Speaking in his feature interview for the official match day programme and on the latest episode of our podcast Latics Listen, Gavin Massey gave thanks to the club's medical staff and his team mates for keeping him in the right frame of mind during his four-month lay-off.

Gavin, you’ve been out with your hamstring injury since the end of August and finally for you there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Chatting with our Head of Sports Performance and First Team Physiotherapist Nick Meace, he said you’re the easiest player he’s worked with in terms of rehabilitation, what do you put that down to?

“First of all, that’s a very nice thing for him to say, but I think we compliment each other in our work practice.

“Nick is very straight forward in the things he wants me to do. This is a big stage in my career because I’ve never had an injury as long as this.

“I’m in the last year of my contract and I knew at the time I had to rehabilitate well because you never know what’s going to happen.

“I had a good start to the season and I’ve been desperate to get back fit. I knew at the start of the rehab I couldn’t mess around and I had to get straight into it which was hard because at first, I couldn’t even walk.

“After the operation Nick and Andy Procter (Head of Medical) gave me some time off. When I came back I was so focused on getting back.

“We had a date in mind, but I’m back a month ahead of schedule. I put that down to working really hard with Nick and having a positive mindset.”

Even when you spent time away, you seemed to be very active with your gym work. Was it a case of champing at the bit to get back into some degree of physical work?

“I was told to rest and that I didn’t need to do anything because it was going to be a long lay-off, but being a professional it’s very easy to get bored.

“Nick knew somebody out in Dubai where I was going for a bit of a holiday, so to do two or three sessions at that stage of my rehab was really useful because I could only just about walk.

“I came off my crutches the week before, but I knew I needed to do something because I was readying myself to be beasted in the gym when I got back.

“Nick and Proc (Andrew Procter) sorted that out for me and I really appreciate what they’ve done for me over the past few months.”

Did you ever find your time in rehab lonely? It’s important to put yourself in a positive mindset isn’t it?

“It’s very important to interact with the people around you. The first period of me being injured was tough, but other players started getting injured as well.

“Now that’s not good for the team in any way, shape or form, but at the time I was grateful for the company.

“At the time it was Griggy, Crackers and Chey Dunkley, so we all stuck together to work through our rehabs together. I didn’t have much time alone, whereas someone like Macca (Shaun MacDonald) had a year out… that’s hard work.

“Fortunately for me it’s only been three months and I can still play a part in the second half of the season.

“It can be difficult. I’ve heard people say it’s easy to be a footballer because our days are short, but when you do have these long periods of time injured, you’re in early, you work hard in the gym from 9.00am to lunch time and then you’re back in the gym again in the afternoon.

“It got much hard towards the end because Nick and Proc had me doing double sessions outside everyday and working my training hard, but it’s all been worth it because I’m back now earlier than expected.”

I suppose Christmas is usually a period you look at and think it’s going to be really tough, but you must be looking towards our fixtures with so much excitement?

“I’ve had that much time off that I’m ready to be back of course. I’ve probably had enough family time, my partner is probably sick of me.

“It’s time for me to get back into football. I’m hungry to play again and hopefully I can play a big part in the second half of the season.”

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