Last month the club were dealt a huge blow when midfielder Liam Kelly suffered a torn hamstring, ruling him out until early 2017. We caught up with the vice-captain to find out how he is getting on following surgery and the extract below is from the O’s E10 matchday magazine against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday…
O’s vice-captain Liam Kelly may have only just found out the extent of his injury, but the midfielder is already plotting his path to recovery.
The 26-year-old was stretchered off just five minutes into the 2-1 home defeat against Luton Town and scans revealed the summer signing suffered a torn hamstring.
Kelly had settled in well at E10 since arriving for an undisclosed fee from Oldham Athletic, putting in a number of strong performances in midfield, while also scoring in three consecutive league games earlier in the season.
“From a personal point of view I thought I had started the season where I ended the last – in a good run of form and chipping in with a few goals. Unfortunately, the results didn’t go with that,” he said.
“I have pulled my hamstring in the past but when I felt it go this time I knew it was a little more serious than that.
“Going into the scan I knew there was some damage there, it was just a case of how bad it was. It wasn’t nice to hear but there’s not a lot you can do about it, it’s happened and you just have to move on and get your mind set on getting back fit and playing.”
The midfielder was quick to praise O’s physiotherapist Peter Webb, adding: “Pete has been fantastic with me. He managed to get an appointment
straight away to see a great surgeon and I managed to have the operation just over a week from when the injury happened and I am sure that will help my recovery.”
This isn’t the first serious injury the midfielder has suffered, having picked up a cruciate knee ligament injury while with Bristol City, and this time round Kelly feels better prepared to deal with the time out of the game.
“Although you want to get back as quick as you can there is no need to rush it,” he remarked.
“Sometimes it helps just to take that little bit of extra time to make sure you have recovered fully and can do yourself justice when you are back playing.”
The operation has been deemed a success, and if all goes to plan, the midfielder is hoping to be back involved for the final few months of the season.
“The next six weeks will just be a case of resting up and allowing the hamstring to heal,” explained Kelly.
“After that, the hard work really starts in terms of strengthening, then progress into running and training. In four months’ time hopefully I will be back out on the football pitch.”
While frustrated to be missing out, the midfielder has been overwhelmed with the messages of support he has received since picking up the injury, and has backed the O’s to move up the table, and fulfil the club’s aspirations of promotion.
“The only way is up,” he added. “What was a fairly new squad at the start of the season will know each other better and the results will only get more and more positive.
“I am really grateful for the messages of support I have had from the players, staff and the fans. It means a lot to me and I thank them for it.
“There is still a long way to go this season and where we are now, to where we can be come the end of the season can be very different.
“I believe things will start going in the right direction and I think people will be surprised of what this club can be capable of between now and the end of the season.”