HAVING been injured since the beginning of the season, Cork City player Alec Byrne is hoping to be available for selection in a number of weeks.
The midfielder was involved in a car crash at the end of January and has been out of action since.
“I came out of the boot (Aircast) last week, so I’m hoping that in the next four to six weeks I will be back training again. Obviously then it will be about getting fully fit to make myself available for matches,” Byrne said.
“I had a stress fracture in my foot. I was involved in a car crash at the end of January. I didn’t train after that for the next two or three days because it was a serious enough crash, and my back and neck were in a bit of pain.
“My car was actually written off. It was only after that, when I rejoined training, that my foot was at me. I couldn’t train with it.
“I couldn’t properly run. I don’t know if it was from the car crash or not, or if it was something that might have been there already and the crash heightened it.
“So I ended up getting two scans which showed nothing, but I ended up getting a CAT scan, and it showed a tiny fracture in the foot.
“The scan was then sent to a surgeon to get him to read the scan, and he believed that because it was a tiny fracture that the best action would be for me to go into a boot.
“The bone that was fractured has poor blood supply so I was told that I just had to rest it and to keep off my feet for a few weeks and let it heal up naturally.
“After six weeks, I went back to him and had another scan. The results somehow showed that the fracture had gotten worse so I had to get surgery.
“It’s frustrating because in hindsight I could have had surgery straight away and been six weeks ahead of what I am.
“But, I can understand from the surgeon’s perspective that he wanted the last option to be surgery. To be fair, the surgery was quick enough. It was only four or five days after being told that it would be required that I had it.
“But it is frustrating because I essentially had to go back to square one again and do another six weeks in the boot and have crutches.”
Since the crash, Byrne has not been able to drive and admits that he is not the easiest passenger for his mother, who drops him to training every day.
I’ve not been able to drive with my foot, and even if I was I don’t know how I would feel about driving at the moment. The crash has definitely changed me a little. I’m a lot more anxious about getting into a car.
“My mam drops me into training every day, and I feel as if I am really starting to frustrate her because I am such a nervous passenger and would be telling her to watch out for things and highlighting that she brakes early.
“She has definitely had to have a lot of patience with me," Byrne joked.
Being injured is a difficult period for players, especially when the team is doing so well.
However, having other teammates go through the same experience has helped Byrne.
“There is a great atmosphere around the dressing room this season. I think the new signings have had a real positive impact both on and off the pitch.
“It’s hard enough being injured and it’s even harder when the team are winning because you want to be on the pitch sharing that winning feeling with the lads.
“Since I’ve turned professional I’ve been involved in some unsuccessful times with the club. I want to be on the pitch and contributing to the team when they are doing so well.
“I know it’s not great that we have had so many long-term injuries but having others with you does help you get through it, because you help each other out and you can have a bit of banter with one another, rather than if it was just you by yourself doing rehab with no one to talk to.
“But, it’s great seeing lads getting back out on the pitch and seeing them doing so well. Hopefully sooner rather than later, I will be joining them.”