LEE Holmes is aiming to make up for lost time after returning to the Preston squad following a 10-week injury absence.
The winger has appeared in the North End side as a substitute for the last two games, and was hoping to feature at some stage in today’s League One visit to Stevenage.
He suffered a deep gash to his knee, and ligament damage, during the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth on August 25, the damage sustained when he skidded into a metal advertising board.
His recovery from the freak accident was a slow one, with surgery required to insert 45 stitches into the wound.
Now he’s raring to go after successfully negotiating 20 minutes against Yeovil a week ago and then the full second half of Tuesday night’s draw with Carlisle.
Holmes told the Evening Post: “It was a nice feeling to get back on the pitch last Saturday.
“I went on when we were 3-0 up, so that gave me an opportunity to get a few touches of the ball and open up my lungs when there wasn’t too much pressure on.
“Then the 45 minutes on Tuesday was a big step forward, and it was a huge bonus to come through it injury-free.
“It helped with my sharpness because that’s the one thing I’m lacking at the moment.
“There were a few aches and pains after the game but apart from that, I felt fine and now it’s a case of me getting more minutes.
“It’s up to the manager as to what he thinks is best when it comes to the next few games and how he uses me. I was pleased to set up the equaliser against Carlisle, I thought that Graham Cummins finished it really well.
“It was good to salvage something from the game and on that occasion it took until late in stoppage time to unlock their defence.
“We had the majority of possession in the second half and thankfully we found a way through at the end.
“Stevenage today should be a good game. They have some decent players and a very good work ethic.”
Casting his mind back to the day he was injured at Bournemouth, Holmes admits the whole episode was a strange one.
And in the weeks that followed, an element of frustration crept in as he waited for the injury to heal.
Said Holmes: “When I slid into the advertising board, I hit it first with my hand and elbow.
“That was quite painful and I looked at my hand and saw that two of my fingers were bleeding.
“At that stage I wasn’t even thinking about my leg.
“One of the Bournemouth players came over and the first thing he said was, ‘Lee, don’t look down at your knee’.
“What did I do? I looked down and saw my knee was badly gashed.
“The frustrating thing about it was that it was difficult to put a time estimate on my recovery.
“It wasn’t a common injury – when you pull a muscle or twist something, it’s quite easy to judge how long you’ll be out.”