Martin Rowlands last played for QPR on 17th January 2009, in the away victory at Derby County. But he lasted only 12 minutes before damaging his anterior cruciate ligament (just like his colleague and fellow midfield maestro, Akos Buzsaky) and being replaced by Hogan Ephraim. Since then, Rowlands has had successful surgery and is now back in the gym at the Harlington training ground as he makes his way back to full fitness.
And as his interview, held after a lengthy gym session today shows, Rowlands is a very hopeful man – hopeful for many things!
He started by explaining his rehabilitation programme:
“I`m hopefully going to start jogging in around two to three weeks time, after I`ve seen the surgeon again, which is obviously a big step.
“Everything`s gone very, very well, and there`s been no swelling. I`ve got full movement. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I`ll be back jogging soon and hopefully I can be back for around pre-season time.” And that is just the first of the many things Rowlands is hoping for!
Our Club captain was then asked if the aim was to be fully fit for the start of pre-season or would that be too early, to which Rowly replied:
“I don`t want to put any time scale on it. I`m just hoping to be back to be able to join in with the lads around pre-season time coz obviously it`s a big time for everyone to get fit.
“Hopefully I can join in and can get fit and hopefully get some part of some games under my belt. Maybe around the start of the season, maybe just after, but that`s hopefully – I don`t want to put a complete time scale on it.” Well, let us all hope he is right!
Rowlands then explained how, despite having had some pretty bad injuries in his career, including a broken leg from which he was recovering when he first arrived at QPR, this current injury was not any easier to deal with.
“No, it`s never easy to deal with. Obviously you`re in the gym every day and it`s hard to look out on everyone`s training. And especially when you come to the games to support the lads, it`s very tough coz obviously you want to be out there playing. And you can`t be involved.
“It is very tough but you have just got to be mentally strong and basically you have just got to get on with it. Coz if you beat yourself up about it then you just end up going into your own little shell.
“And I don`t think that`s right. I think you have just got to be as positive as you can and just face it full on.” That is a very bullish attitude and one I am not surprised to hear our determined Number 14 putting forward, I must admit (based on his “never-say-die” attitude on the pitch, that is!)
Rowly admitted that it can be hard to stay motivated when rehabilitation is so dry and monotonous.
“It can be difficult to stay motivated at times. I think you have just got to be positive and be mentally strong and you just get on with it.
“There are days when you don`t feel like doing anything and days where it is monotonous – you do the same things all the time for weeks on end. But it`s something you have to get your head round and basically you know you have to do it, as you`ll be better for it in the end. So you just have to get on with it.”
Did having Akos Buzsaky in the same position help him?
“We do bits and bobs together in the gym. That is a boost coz obviously we talk about things, see how each other`s feeling, see where we`re at. That is a boost.
“And hopefully Akos can be back next season coz he`s obviously a great player to have in the squad and we`ve missed him a lot this season and it`ll be great to have him back.” Amen to that, I say!
As if Rowlands didn`t know this already, seeing as how he sits in the Directors` Box watching our home games along with his fellow injured players, it was pointed out that we have suffered injuries to key players. As in Akos Buzsaky`s interview, did Martin Rowlands think “what if we were all fit for the whole season?”
“Yes I do! Obviously, everyone`s going to think that. You do think “what if” and “maybe`s” and this and that; but I don`t think you can live your life like that.
“You have just got to get on with what is in the future, and hopefully change things that you can affect in the future. What`s happened in the past has gone; we are not going to be able to change the run of results. We`ve just got to look to the future and hopefully try and do something about those games.” And that is another thing Rowlands is hoping for!!
Well, I hope that Rowly is back, fully fit and ready to go, at the start of next season – it is, after all, only four months away!!
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