DONCASTER Rovers’ midfielder Martin Woods has been through some dark times over the last 18 months but he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The former Scottish Under-21 international, who is a key cog in the Rovers midfield, is confident that the injury problems which have dogged him for the last two seasons are finally behind him.
“My right side has been an ongoing problem for over two years,” he told The Star.
“The injury on my left side, which I had surgery on last year, is only a recent thing and was probably caused by me putting too much weight on it.
“There was a big tear in the left hip cartilage and that’s why I wasn’t able to carry on playing at the time. I recovered from that but then I started having problems with my right groin last season,
“I played around 15 games last season but I felt that I wasn’t doing the team or myself justice so I pulled out of the team.
“I was having injections in my groin but they weren’t making any difference and now we know why. It turned out it was referred pain from a torn cartilage in my right hip.
“Fortunately the tear wasn’t as bad as my left one and I’m hoping to be doing some running in the next fortnight and I hope to be in contention for a place in the squad by early September. It has been a frustrating time. I’ve had spells of fitness in the last couple of years but I’ve never felt 100 per cent and when I am I’m hoping that I can keep clear of other injuries.
“Having missed most of last season (his last game was at Reading in October) it makes you realise what you are missing and makes you look at things differently.
“I can’t stress just how much I’m looking forward to coming back and being 100 per cent and hopefully helping the side do something this season.
“I suppose it will be like having a new player in the squad.
“It looks like being a tough season looking at the teams in the Championship so we need all the injured players such as Brian Stock, Adam Lockwood, Shelton Martis and James Chambers, back as quickly as possible.
“When we’ve got a full-strength squad then we are just as good as the other teams.
“I know that we’ve been tipped to be down there next season after what happened last season. But injuries played a big part.
“We’ve proved people wrong in the past and hopefully we can do the same again this season.”