Derby County skipper Shaun Barker aiming for 'emotional' return to action
CLUB captain Shaun Barker remains as determined as ever to pull on a Derby County shirt again.
It is a year next week since he suffered an horrific knee injury in the victory over Nottingham Forest at Pride Park.
His return to action is still some time away.
A spell of at least 18 months out was always likely given the full scale of the damage within the knee.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
He dislocated his knee cap and ruptured medial ligaments, anterior cruciate ligaments and posterior cruciate ligaments.
Reconstruction surgery on his shattered right knee also revealed damage to the patella femoral ligament.
Barker's journey on the long road to recovery still has many months to run but he is driven by the thought of playing at Pride Park again.
"That will be an emotional moment and my proudest moment in football," he said.
Barker will not be fit for the start of next season.
If his recovery does take 18 months, that will mean around October at the very earliest but it could be longer.
When asked about Barker's progress, manager Nigel Clough said: "We are not going to put pressure on him. He will be back as and when the medical people, the surgeons and the specialists say he is OK to return."
Barker admits that he had harboured hopes, initially, of being back for a game or two at the end of this season.
"I was a little bit naive to think that, but when I was first told it would be 18 months I thought that was a bit excessive," he said.
"Then I started to realise it was going to be at least 18 months.
"And when I do return, it will take me some time to get back into the swing of things."
A specialist will fly in from the United States in the next few weeks to see Barker and assist with his rehabilitation.
"He has worked with NFL players who have had a similar type of injury and he might have one or two different ideas to help my rehab," said Barker.