Wolverhampton Wanderers full-back George Elokobi has set his sights on returning to training before the end of the season.
The Cameroonian defender was ruled out of action for the season after damaging multiple ligaments in his knee against Ipswich Town just three games into the campaign.
However, the 22-year-old has set his sights on being fully fit and ready to return for next pre-season, and could start light jogging in March.
“The recovery is going well so far,” he said. “I’ve just started doing cardiovascular work in the gym as well as the weights which is a good step forward. If all continues to go well then I could be doing some light jogging by March.
“The surgeon said it would take 22 weeks after the operation for everything to come back into place and that takes us to about March.
“At the same time I have to listen to my body and we can’t push things or come back too early – it has to be right before I get back outside again. My body will tell me when it’s right and if it’s not then I’ll have to wait. I’ve just got to keep working as hard as I can on my recovery as I have been doing.
“I’m not looking at playing again this season – all I’m concentrating on is getting back jogging and then doing what I was doing before I got injured with all the twisting and turning.
“My season is over – I’m not looking at playing any competitive games this season and the boys are doing very well anyway, long may it continue.
“Of course it’s frustrating because you want to be involved but that’s what happens in football and you have to accept it.
“It’s good to see other people getting a chance and taking it as well, and shows the strength in depth of the squad.
“These things happen in life and you have to see them as a test which you have to pass and that’s what I’m ready for. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel but I’m not going to be pushing myself too hard because I want to make sure I’m right.
“I’ll be taking each week as it comes and each week it gets better and better and I look towards the next one.”
A source of support in the treatment room when he first injured his knee was goalkeeper Matt Murray, who was also recovering from a knee injury.
Elokobi has now been reunited with the Wolves keeper in rehabilitation after Murray ruptured a patella tendon as he made a comeback and has vowed the two will help each other make a complete recovery.
“Matt’s been back in a couple of times over the last couple of weeks,” Elokobi said. “We’ve had a good chat and it’s great to see him back.
“We’ll be able to work alongside each other in the gym because we’ve got similar timescales in terms of aiming to get back for pre-season.
“It’s a massive help to be working with someone else when you’re coming back from injury. When you see someone who’s been in the same position as yourself, it’s a massive boost to see them coming back and playing a game. It gives you a lot of faith to say that I can do this and come back from this nasty injury.”