Walsall midfielder Jack Earing is delighted to have made his long-awaited return after 11 months out with an ACL injury.
The 24-year-old hasn’t featured since New Year’s Day after picking up the injury in training but after a tough journey to get back to fitness, he replaced Ross Tierney in the 78th minute during Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Alfreton Town in the Emirates FA Cup.
Earing was devastated when he initially picked up the injury but was just happy to be back on the pitch after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“It’s been a long road to recovery,” he said.
“The injury wasn’t nice at all, it happened just before the Stockport game that led to the Leicester game so that hurt me but the recovery went quite quick and steady.
“Everyone gathered round me, family, friends, physios and it was an easy road to recovery, I cracked on with my rehab and it’s led me to this day and I’m buzzing.
“I just wanted to get on the pitch, I’ve waited so long for this although the circumstances of the pitch weren’t great but there are no excuses for that.
“We got down and played a few times, we knew when to play long. I came on with about 15 minutes to go so the game was a bit back and forth, we had a few spells to score but I felt OK and I just want to get more minutes under my belt now.”
The former FC Halifax Town man has had plenty of great support from family, friends, teammates and medical staff alike during his rehab and is grateful to everyone who has played their part in getting him back fit during a tough process.
“I think the saying is working in the shadows. I’ve been doing a lot of that behind the scenes and people don’t see that day-to-day basis,” Earing explained.
“I’ve worked my socks off to get back into the squad and help the team. I’m grateful to all the lads who’ve helped me, all staff and physios who have made it quite an enjoyable rehab because it can be quite a lonely place in the treatment room.”
As well as the physios, Fitness Coach Cal Reeves has also been aiding the midfielder as he looks to get back to his best.
Earing is now aiming to have a positive impact on the team and is pleased with the condition he is now in.
“Physically I think this is the best I’ve ever been in,” he revealed.
“I’ve been working with Cal who has done amazing with me.
“I’m smashing all my records from previous seasons in terms of in the gym, sprint speed and stuff like that so I’ve got to try and keep on top of it all and try to get back in the squad, back on the bench for a league game on Saturday hopefully make an impact and push on from there.”