Joe Garner exclusive column

Preston North End's Joe Garner battles with  Bradford City's Andrew Davies''Photographer Mick Walker/CameraSport''Football - The Football League Sky Bet League One - Preston North End v Bradford City - Saturday 15th November 2014 - Deepdale - Preston''� CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Preston North End's Joe Garner battles with Bradford City's Andrew Davies''Photographer Mick Walker/CameraSport''Football - The Football League Sky Bet League One - Preston North End v Bradford City - Saturday 15th November 2014 - Deepdale - Preston''� CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

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I am five weeks into my recovery after surgery to attach a tendon back to the top of my shin bone and so far things are going very well.

After the operation I had to wear a leg brace for two weeks to allow the tendon to attach itself properly.

I have got rid of the brace and now it is a case of getting battered in the gym and pool by our physio Matt Jackson.

On Boxing Day, Jacko had me doing 60 lengths of the pool and 6000m on the rower – Happy Christmas!

But when you are out injured that is the only way you are going to get back fit by putting the hard work and hours in.

The injury I had was quite a weird one really.

When I spoke to the surgeon who did the operation, he said he had never seen one like this.

Basically, the tendon had come away at the top of my shin.

The good news was that it wasn’t anything to do with my knee – the knee joint is fine.

Also, while the tendon had come away from the bone, it had not torn in doing so.

The operation involved screwing the tendon back on to the bone and it feels fine now.

I’m not 100% sure how and why it happened.

During the first half at Bristol City I felt something go but managed to carry on until half-time.

It didn’t feel 100% right so I came off and obviously the scan a few days later showed what the damage was.

Going for the scan, I knew that something wasn’t right and that I wasn’t looking at just a couple of weeks out. Earlier in my career, I did the anterior cruciate ligament in my other knee so I knew what a serious injury was all about.

That recovery for the ACL was nine months but hopefully I’m looking at 10-12 weeks for this injury.

Five weeks of that time have gone, so at the moment I’m hopeful of getting back some time in February.

There is plenty of work to do in the gym before then, with Jacko working me on the rower, on the step machine, on the bike and in the swimming pool.

He has set me up a weights programme which I’m doing every day and the plan is to come back fitter and stronger than I was before the injury.

Is Jacko my best friend at the moment?

After 250 lengths of the pool in total last week, I’m not sure that he is!

There have been a couple of players out with long-term injuries to keep me company in the gym, Jordan Hugill and Bailey Wright.

Jordan will come back a different player from his injury, he has lost some weight and looks a hell of a lot stronger.

Bailey also looks leaner and has benefited from the fitness and strengthening work he’s been doing.

He is back training with the squad now and it is good to see him fully recovered.

The long lay-off I had with the torn ACL at Carlisle has helped me cope better this time.

I was only 18 when I did my knee and at the time it felt like the end of the world.

A few years on, I’m more experienced and it is easier to get my head around being out.

I know that when I come back this time I will be refreshed and stronger.

The lads have been unbeaten with me out of the side and long may that continue.

I’m their No.1 fan at the moment, cheering them on and willing them to victory.

Like any player, I do find being a spectator quite difficult.

I’ve been to all of the home games and in your head you are kicking every ball, just wanting to be out on the pitch with them.

It has been difficult when we have played away and I’ve not travelled with the lads.

I start off trying to avoid the score until after the game but I’ve found myself checking the internet and the radio.

I’ve been impressed with how we have been playing.

Jermaine Beckford looks to be up-and-running with the two goals he’s scored in the last three games.

Paul Gallagher is playing well and Kevin Davies has probably been the best player in the time I’ve been out.

He had been a right handful in the games I have watched and it would be nice if he can get a few goals to kick him on.

The MK Dons game was probably his best performance for Preston.

All the lads are willing Kev to get his 150th career goal and I’m sure it will come sooner rather than later.

Having scored 149 goals, he knows where the net is and it is just a case of him plugging away.