Chris Humphrey’s exclusive column

Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey
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I might be setting off security machines at airports for years to come because of the metal inserted into my right leg to help my fractured shin mend!

A month ago, I had surgery at the Alexandra Hospital in Manchester after the stress fracture had not healed naturally.

Earlier in the season, I went to see the consultant because of the pain I was getting in the shin and when I had the X-ray, it showed up quite a big fracture.

The consultant told me to give it two months rest to see if it healed that way but unfortunately that did not do the trick.

They showed me the first X-ray and the one taken two months and the bone was exactly the same, the fracture was still there.

So early last month, I had an operation which involved a metal rod being put into the leg to help the fracture mend.

I also had a bone graft in the middle part of the shin.

The consultant went in through my knee and fed the metal rod down the leg, bolting it at the top and the bottom.

It is double-bolted at the bottom, near to the ankle, because the consultant explained to me he wasn’t happy with just the one bolt.

The scars and wounds are healing nicely, I’ve just got a small scar down my knee where they went in.

A month on from the operation, the injury itself feels really good and it is just my knee which is still a bit stiff and sore.

To get into the knee and down to the shin, they had to cut a tendon and it is that which is a bit painful as it repairs.

The metal work will stay in my leg forever, to take it all out would require another operation which isn’t something I’m keen on.

Since the operation, I’ve been in the gym to strengthen the leg and to keep my fitness levels as high as possible.

In the last couple of weeks, I have got back to doing the heavy leg weights which I was able to do before the surgery.

As well as the weights, I have been doing a lot of cardiovascular work on the rower, the bike and cross trainer. Anything I can do within reason to keep my heart ticking over and my fitness levels good, I’m doing it.

I’ve put a red line through the rest of this season and I know it is highly unlikely that I will be ready to play any games.

Who knows, I might be fit for a couple of games towards the end but I’m not getting my hopes up of that happening.

The main thing is that the shin bone heals properly and it is only once the consultant tells me that has happened that I can think about playing.

So pre-season training in the summer will be a very important time to me in order to start doing the fitness and football work.

I will be in the last year of my contract then, so having not played much this season, I will be having to prove my worth to the gaffer all over again.

That is fine with me and is what all this hard work in the gym is about.

I got my head around the fact a couple of months ago that I wasn’t going to be able to play again this season.

The next step of my rehabilitation will be to get out and do some jogging but obviously, that is down to the consultant to decide when.

When I’m not in the gym, I’ll be keeping myself around the squad and encouraging the lads when the matches come around.

They are doing really well at the moment and it was a great result at Derby the other night, one they can take a lot of confidence from.

Later in the season, I might ask the gaffer if I can start coming with the lads to some of the away games, just to feel part of it.

I watch the home games and like most players, I’m not a good watcher – I get a bit frustrated because I want to be out there playing.

For some of my time before the operation and after it, I’ve had the company of Jermaine Beckford in the gym.

People around the club might say that is not a good thing because we are like two naughty kids together!

They usually ended up separating us because we’d been chatting in the gym or taking the mickey out of the other lads.

The good thing is that Jermaine is back outside now, doing his running on the grass.

That is great to see, I’m not sure exactly what stage he is at but I’m sure Jermaine is pleased not to be stuck in the gym all the time.

He has been through a lot with his operation and I’m just glad to see him out there with his boots on, doing the jogging.

Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I can get the boots on myself. It would be great to put the boots on and just go for a walk with them on!