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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, March 21st 2018

I feared the worst - O'Dowda

City winger Callum O'Dowda says he feared the worst when he heard his ankle crack.

His injury came in City's 3-2 victory against Hull City in November and he has not featured for the first team since.

Four months down the line and the Republic of Ireland international is closing in on a return to competitive action.

City head physio Steve Allen said he expects the 22-year-old winger to be match fit before the end of the season.

Allen told BCTV: "He’s made great progress since he’s had an operation to stabilise his syndesmosis joint in his ankle.

"Callum injured his ankle against Hull City in way that the foot turned out into an external rotation. The syndesmosis joint is a fibrous joint, with a ligament at front and back (fibs and tibia). They hold the lower tib and fib together and in between that is the interosseous ligament, so there are three ligaments.

"He heard a crack and a pop at the time and we knew then that he had damaged the syndesmosis area.

"If two out of the three rupture then we knew we’d be looking at stabilisation, which Callum has done."

O'Dowda has had a plate fitted, has taken injections and is now back training with first team.

MAKING GREAT PROGRESS

He has been working on his ankle mobility and strength of the calf muscle after weeks of rest.

Allen continued: "I do expect him back quickly, very soon. To be fair to him, he was called up by the Irish FA to play against Turkey and we felt he should continue his rehabilitation with us rather than go with them and they try to pick up the pieces.

"I’m pleased with his progress, he’s nearly there and we’re looking forward to having him back."

O'Dowda said: "I think I did [fear the worst]. I have never experienced pain like that so credit to the medical staff; they knew exactly what it was.

"The turnaround was great: we flew back on the Saturday [after the Hull game], I was scanned two days later and had surgery two days after that so within a week I was home with the foot up.

PREPARING FOR EVENTUAL RETURN

"It’s stable, reconstruction was brilliant, recovery has been good so I’m feeling strong. I’ve used my time to develop other areas of my body, work on my lower body and power. I’ve also watched more games, watched individuals and used it as a break to mentally prepare myself for when I come back.

"I want to come back stronger. When you look at the timeframe of 10-12 weeks, I think that was quite optimistic because of my position.

"I’m doing lots of shifting the ball work, getting up to high speeds. I haven’t rushed it at all so its just a matter of time now before I come back."

WATCH: STEVE ALLEN'S INJURY UPDATE IN FULL