Michael Woods questioned whether he would ever play football again after suffering the third major injury of his career, writes Richard Mennear.
But thanks to the devoted physio team and fans at Hartlepool United – who visited him in hospital the night he got injured – Woods is back fit and looking to shine.
You question yourself at times and this was the third major injury of my career.
The 25-year-old midfielder dislocated his ankle and fractured his fibula in a league game against Wimbledon back in February – ruling him out of action for six months.
But the tough-tackling schemer, who has previously injured his knee and dislocated his ankle, made a speedy recovery and made his first start in the defeat to Gateshead.
“It is very difficult mentally and physically when you get a serious injury,” Woods said.
“You question yourself at times and this was the third major injury of my career.
“You are sat there in hospital, talking to your family, wondering if you can go through it all again. But those are the times when you need people around you, your friends, family, teammates and medical staff – who have all been brilliant.
“The Saturday night I was in, we even had Pools fans turning up to the hospital!
“That just goes to show the faith they put in you and that was so touching. Being in hospital and having a nurse wake you to tell you fans had been to see me, was great, but I was knocked out [at the time].
“That was such an honour,” added Woods, whose return is a month ahead of schedule.
The former Leeds United and Chelsea youth was well looked after during his rehabilitation, led by the club’s head physio Ian Gallagher, or Buster.
“I can’t thank them all enough for the amount of time they have put in with me,” added Woods.