BOBBY Grant felt like he was the forgotten man at Accrington Stanley - but now he is ready to show everyone he is back
There were high expectations for the 18-year-old at the start of this season but a knee operation in August set him back.
But now he has returned to training and hopes he can fulfil his promise and make his mark on League Two.
"It has all been a nuisance as it was going to be a big year for me," said the wideman, who came through the youth set-up at Accrington over the last few years.
"I had an operation on my knee last year but I don’t think they got to the root of the problem and it never felt right.
"I felt it again this season and knew I needed another operation which was a blow. They took out the bottom of my cartilage - it was wrecked - and it feels a lot better.
"I thought I would be out for about six weeks and that was bad enough but next week will be my 12th week out and it seems such a long time and that I have missed such a lot.
"But hopefully I can get a reserve team game under my belt soon and then start pressing for a first team place again.
"I am just made up to be back in training this week - that has been a weight off my shoulders. I was sick of the gym!"
His spell out has also seen him go to Lilleshall which he admits was a hard time.
"I am not the best swimmer and they had me swimming up and down so many times, I felt like I was drowning.
"Then it was nine mile bike rides to get back to fitness.
"It was really hard work but I do feel a lot stronger now and I am hoping I have fully recovered."
He is especially desperate to get back as, after 10 matches, he was promised a new contract.
"I am currently on nine games going back to last season and I have been on nine forever. I just seem stuck there. I want to get my tenth game and hopefully get a new deal!"
However Grant knows, with widemen John Miles and Jimmy Ryan commanding regular places in the starting line-up at the moment, that he does face a battle.
"I know I won’t walk straight into the team. John Miles has been doing really well and I would never be able to copy his goal against Rochdale!
"Both the wingers are causing the defence a lot of problems so I will have to wait for my chances but, when it comes, I will make sure I take it."
And he did have words of comfort for fellow teenager Peter Murphy who has just had an operation on a cruciate knee injury and could be out for the rest of the season.
"I spoke to Peter and I feel for him. My injury seemed back enough and has taken a long time to recover but his is worse.
"He said he is not the best at the moment as he has just had his operation but he has got a bright future at the club and I am sure he will recover."