Exclusive Ben Davies PNE column

Taking on Norwich's Ivo Pinto
Taking on Norwich's Ivo Pinto
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Players tend to miss games due to knocks and strains but it was an appendicitis which put me on the sidelines for three weeks or so recently.

It all happened in the few days before the Brentford game last month and wasn’t the nicest experience.

Holding-off Alfred N'Diaye against Wolves

Holding-off Alfred N'Diaye against Wolves

We had trained as usual on the Tuesday but later that afternoon I starting to get an aching pain in my stomach.

I contacted our physio that evening who told me to get through the night and then to see the doctor the next day.

The pain got worse during the night and the next day I stayed in bed.

I then started to feel a bit better although the pain was going more to one side rather than being generally in the stomach – the pain was also a bit sharper rather than being a general ache.

In action at Derby

In action at Derby

On the Friday I was ready to come in and train but the doctor had done my bloods and they showed a reading of 90 when it should have been in single figures.

That afternoon I went to the Royal Preston Hospital and had my appendix out on the day we played Brentford.

I watched the scores come through on Soccer Saturday.

They did keyhole surgery which means you recover more quickly than being cut open.

I woke up expecting to be sore where my appendix had been but that was not the case – with keyhole they go in at three different points on the other side because of the size of instruments used.

It was those three scars which were very painful!

In terms of recovering, I wanted to be back for the Bolton game but that was just a bit too early.

I only started training the day before and I didn’t feel enough confidence in my body to cope.

I needed a few extra days training and came back in for the win at Bristol City.

I’m told a rugby league player recently played in a big game just 10 days after he’d had his appendix out.

I’ve got no idea how he managed to do that because I could hardly walk after 10 days, let alone play!

Fair play to him, he must be a tough person.

My rehab involved a lot of stomach strengthening, then jogging into running.

I feel fine now and have played the last two games.

What was frustrating about being ill and needing the operation was that it came at the same time as all the other injuries we had.

I don’t think any club could have dealt with eight injuries in defence, it was just stupid.

As we have started to get players back, you have seen the results get better.

Hopefully now that I’m back, I can go on to have a good run in the team.

It has been a good season so far for me, I’ve been in the team regularly and enjoying my football.

Every time I came back from a loan spell previously, I said my aim was to get into the team.

Finally I did that and the gaffer coming in really helped that.

He has shown a lot of faith and trust in me, given me the confidence to play my own game.

I think the old gaffer liked me to be fair, it was just that he didn’t think I was quite ready – this manager does and that has been the big difference.

Last season’s loan spell at Fleetwood was important for me.

I played a lot of games at centre-half which was the position I had mostly played coming through the youth team here.

Centre-half is my position, I read the game better from there and feel more comfortable on the ball.

The Fleetwood loan was one of five I’ve had during my career and I going out on loan is something I would highly recommend to any young player coming through.

I played in the National League, League One and League Two.

Now I’m trying to bring my game to the Championship with Preston.

I think the best two loans I had were at Fleetwood and the first one at York City.

With the York one, I needed to get out to play first-team football regularly after having a taste of it here when I was very young.

The Fleetwood loan was at the top end of League One and there was a lot more professionalism about it.

In the Championship this season I’ve found that you get a bit more time on the ball at the back depending on which team you are playing.

But the general tempo of the play is higher and you have to be right on your game otherwise you can get found out.

We’ve got Queens Park Rangers next and the aim is to get our home form going – our form here in the last 18 months has been strong.