PNE skipper on the road to recovery from torn Achilles
The centre-half suffered the injury in April and is not expected back in full training until later in the year.
But the message from him is so far, so good, when it comes to how his rehab work is going.
“Everything that the physio is putting in front of me, I’ve been able to do,” Clarke told the Post.
“I know that I can’t rush it and that it is going to take time but I’m happy with how I’m progressing.
“Fingers crossed, things will keep going that way.
“In terms of when I will get back training, it is difficult one to estimate really.
“The end of November takes me to seven months but this is not the type of injury you can put a time limit on.
“I want it to heal properly, at the moment it is all about getting strength back in that calf where there is quite a lot of muscle which needs work.
“That has to get back to full strength, it has to feel right again before I move to the next stage of things.
“This type of injury 10 or 15 years ago could have been a career-ending one.
“Things have progressed since then and within two weeks of the operation I was moving and getting about.
“A few years ago I would have been stuck in a cast for weeks, unable to move it.”
Clarke suffered the injury early in the Good Friday visit to former club Huddersfield.
How the Achilles snapped in the way it did, is still a cause of bemusement to him.
“I went to go and kick the ball, I took a stride and I felt like I had got smashed by the striker,” said Clarke.
“When the physio came on I asked him who had kicked me and he just said there was no one near me.
“At that stage I could still move my foot up and down so I wasn’t sure what damage I had done.
“It soon became clear what the injury was and when I first got it scanned, the tendon was hanging by a thread.
“By the time I went in for the operation, they said it was pretty much gone.
“They did the surgery on the basis it was totally gone.
“The scar I’ve got is very minimal, the surgery is not as invasive as you would think.
“They put some wires in, pull them out and the tendon goes back together.
“Our physio was in for the surgery and he told me how unbelievable it was what they did.
“In the past, the physio has had three or four players with this injury and none were as advanced in their recovery as I am with mine.
“I’m confident I can get back to where I was.”