STRIKER Andy Williams was happy to take a giant step towards a return to full fitness over the weekend during Town’s two pre-season wins.
Williams suffered a knee ligament injury while on loan at Yeovil last season, which kept him out for nine months, but returned to the field as he enjoyed 45 minute shifts in Town’s victories over Yate and Swindon Supermarine.
The striker looked sharp in both games but still has work to do to get back to his best, although he is just pleased to be back involved again.
“I've only had a couple of 45 minutes but for me personally it was important that I got through the two games, for mental reasons as much as physical,” he said.
“It's just as tough mentally as it is physically. The first two weeks, when you're fresh off the operating table and you're sat in the front room not able to even get your food and drink, are awful.
“But after that, there were loads of little goals to hit and the fitness coach and the physio here worked with me every day and I couldn't fault what they did with me to help me get back ahead of schedule.
“After being out for such a long time, it does feel weird getting back on the pitch again.
“I like to think I've integrated back in nicely, although I'd like to do a bit more finishing practice. Apart from that, I'm quite happy with how things have gone.”
Williams also lifted the lid on what his long road back to fitness involved.
“I did it on a Thursday and travelled up to Leeds on the Friday ready to play but it swelled up horrifically,” he said.
“I had an operation and it was nine months from there. I couldn't straighten my knee for the first three months and any fitness I was doing was upper body.
“After two months, I could get in the pool and then from three I spent all my time strengthening it – for the last three months, I've been doing nothing but that.
“Everyone had time off from May onwards and I only had two weeks but I wasn't too bothered about that because from the end of May I could start kicking a ball again.”