Will Smith desperate to return from injury and 'make a difference' to Harrogate Town

Will Smith admits that he has found his recent spell on the sidelines tough to deal with.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 8:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 8:54 am
Harrogate Town defender Will Smith. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Harrogate Town centre-half was in the form of his life prior to suffering a freak double-injury in the Sulphurites’ 1-0 home defeat to Tranmere Rovers on November 3.

The 22-year-old left Wetherby Road by ambulance having been stretchered off in a neck brace due to fears he had suffered a spinal injury when he landed heavily following an aerial challenge.

It was later revealed that he was only suffering from a whiplash-type issue, but that he had also somehow managed to tear tendons in his hamstring during the fall, an injury that is expected to ruled him out for around 10 weeks.

Will Smith in action against Stevenage.

“It’s been quite stressful, I’ve found it hard to be honest. I’ve tried my best to stay positive because there’s not much else you can do, but I feel frustrated just sitting and watching the games,” he said.

“I feel like I was getting better with each match and every training session during the early part of the season. The injury’s stopped that progress.

“You don’t know how you’d have reacted if you were out on the pitch, or what you’d have done differently, but it would be nice to be able to try and do something for the team.

“We’ve been on a bit of a bad run and I want to be able to make a difference and just help the team. You just feel kind of helpless when you’re not playing, so it’s been tough watching the games.”

Smith’s memory of the moment that saw him injure his neck and hamstring is hazy.

“I can’t really remember too much about it. At the time, the adrenaline was pumping, I don’t know what I was thinking, I had to look back at the video to realise how bad it was,” he added.

“You’d have to class it as a freak accident.It’s pretty weird to land on your neck but end up damaging your hamstring.

“Even the consultant I went to see said he couldn’t understand how I’ve ended up doing what I’ve done. The physio said the same thing.

“I do feel a bit unlucky, but I just can’t wait to get back now. It’s been too long, too long since I even kicked a ball.”

Smith shouldn’t have much longer to wait before he can return to shore up a Harrogate back-line that has looked noticably less solid in his absence.

When his hamstring injury was initially diagnosed, it was predicted that he would be back playing by mid-January, and he remains on course to resume his season around that point in time.

“I’m getting there. I’ve started back in the gym already, just doing light stuff, and on Christmas Eve I can begin jogging,” he said.

“After that I’ll step it up week by week and hopefully be playing again by the middle of January, maybe towards the end of the month.

"It's been quite a slow process because the tendons in my hamstring that I tore are near the top of the leg, where there isn't a lot of blood flow.

"I've had to have three PSP injections, where they inject blood from your arm into the hamstring to help speed up the healing process.

"But, it could have been worse. If I'd needed surgery then I'd probably have been looking at another month out."