Young midfielder makes comeback from double leg breakNORWICH City Under-23s midfielder Conor McGrandles says putting in the hard yards while sidelined with a serious injury has paid off following his recent return to action for the Canaries' Development Squad.
Having suffered a double leg break in February while on loan to boyhood club Falkirk, the 21-year-old recently featured for Dmitri Halajko's side off the bench for City's Premier League Cup game at Wolves.
He then followed that up by being included in the starting XI which took on Middlesbrough earlier this week, a game in which first team player Matt Jarvis also stepped up his comeback from injury.
Speaking exclusively to canaries.co.uk at Colney Training Centre, McGrandles said: "I was itching to get on from the start really [against Wolves].
"The plan for that game was to get 30 minutes, so to get time on the pitch was really good. I'd found out a few days earlier I was going to be involved, as there was a slight possibility of me playing in the previous game.
"After being close for that game, it was always going to be the next one where I'd be involved. Then, starting against Middlesbrough, I felt comfortable and wasn't too tired at the end.
"It's been a long time coming as it's been a hard nine months. I've done a lot of rehab and it's good that's paid off to allow to me to get back out there.
"I appreciate football even more than I used to now. Having spent time watching training and wishing I was out there, I don't take anything for granted."
Explaining the processes which go into injury rehabilitation, he added: "It's tough because the days are harder.
"They're much longer and busier; you can't afford to miss a rep or a set or anything. You have to do everything to the full because it all counts.
"I had a lot of time in the gym to build myself up and to become stronger physically, with the sports science guys onto me about that. They were great in that aspect, which I really appreciate.
"For most of Matt Jarvis' rehab I was doing it with him, so he helped keep me going too. It was good to have a senior player next to me and you could see how professional he was at dealing with an injury.
"That really helped me to be the same, and it was good not be going through it on my own as well."