Chris Brunt won’t be short of cheer when the clock strikes midnight on the final day of 2012.
The last 11 months have been fairly desperate for the West Bromwich Albion captain.
From a club point of view there can be no arguments. Albion continued to prosper. But, personally, it’s been one of those years to file under ‘roll on 2013’ for the Northern Ireland man.
On the opening day of the year he broke his ankle. That was to set the tone.
He then suffered a calf injury during a jog around the streets of Belfast just before he was due to return for pre-season training.
Last Monday he made his latest comeback, playing the opening hour or so of Albion’s 3-3 under-21s’ draw with Reading.
His most recent injury was a hamstring sustained in the draw at Villa Park.
If he wasn’t a footballer, you’d be forgiven for thinking New Year’s Eve would be one giant party in the Brunt household.
Given that Albion kick off early against Fulham on New Year’s Day, that won’t be on the agenda.
Even so, Brunt just wants a change of luck.
“It’s been a bad year for me in terms of injuries,” he lamented. “I’ll be glad to see the back of 2012.
“But it was good to play on Monday. It’s nice to be back. It’s what I needed. It’s been a while and pretty stop-start for me this season.
“I had a few days’ training last week, which felt good, but it’s not the same as playing a game. It was the first time I’ve played with a lot of the young lads too so it was nice to see that part of it.
“I played a bit deeper to save my legs a little bit and 60 minutes was very much doctor’s orders.
“I could have done a bit more but the doctor said no. After the last couple of times I’ve come back and broken down so after I did this against Villa I think initially we picked the Manchester City game but there was no point in risking me in playing a couple of games and then missing more. Touch wood, I’ll be ok.
“I’ve had a run of bad luck. Missing pre-season didn’t help either.
“I missed a couple of weeks in pre-season and the type of training has been a little bit different. So missing that, for me, wasn’t great. I didn’t have the foundation so going into games and training while not 100 per cent fit isn’t the way forward.
“When it first happened the gaffer was good – as he has been all the way through.
“He told me not to rush but it was more me trying to get back. I just want to play football now and hopefully I can put that behind me and push on from here.
“I have a job getting back into the first team because the lads have done very well.”