Doncaster Rovers: Excitement driving Tommy Rowe on ride to his return

Tommy Rowe
Tommy Rowe

Tommy Rowe could be forgiven for feeling a little frustrated at the moment.

Just as he was beginning to hit full speed following hamstring surgery in April, he was struck down with injury again and ruled out for ten weeks.

For the last three weeks, the captain has been forced to watch from the sidelines as Rovers have hit their stride in his absence.

But rather than frustrated, the 29-year-old insists his primary feeling is excitement.

He is excited by what he has witnessed from his team mates. And excited about rejoining that side when back at full strength himself.

“It’s something to be excited for because of the way the lads are performing now,” he told the Free Press.

“It’s giving me the encouragement to go back into training every day and come back stronger.

“It’ll probably be worse than coming back from the surgery.

“In a weird way, that makes me excited.

“Training is hard – but it’s harder for the lads recovering game after game.

“I’ll be there to be a vocal presence around the changing rooms.

“Hopefully this run keeps going and we’re in a good position to push on when I do back and I can come and help.”

Like his manager, Rowe favours a positive outlook on life and football rather than dwelling too much on things that have gone wrong.

So it is little surprise that he has taken the optimistic approach in regards to his recovery.

“I think it helps me to not get too beat down in those situations,” he said.

“I’m a very positive person and everything happens for a reason.

“I know that this will be an opportunity for me to get stronger, to come back a better player and I can’t wait to get back in the near future.”

Though keen to return, Rowe is joining Grant McCann in refusing to put a timeframe on his return.

His comeback after surgery was quicker than expected but he believes the fact his rehabilitation took place in both the off-season and pre-season was a major reason for that.

Attempting to recover during the cut and thrust of a League One campaign will be more difficult but he is determined to do things correctly.

“Right now no,” he said when asked of a potential return date.

“I’ve still not seen the last specialist for those details.

“I do know it’s a long one.

“It’s an injury I’ll have to bide my time with. It’s all about the building into it, to get back into it again like last time.

“Unfortunately this time around we won’t have the pre-season games and a pre-season for that and being around the group.

“It’s another learning curve. I’ve been through a lot in football to know it’s going to make me stronger. I’m really excited for it.”

Rowe has looked close to being back to his best when his injury came.

A talismanic performance against former club Peterborough United was his best of the season to date.

But he insists, in spite of his latest injury, the best us yet to come from him this season.

He said: “We knew at that stage the performances weren’t going to be down to fitness any more.

“I was fit, I was conditioned really well. I’d done plenty with the fitness coach.

“It was more about match confidence, match sharpness and understanding it’s the way it goes at times.

“You see confidence in players can come and go. It was a case of getting that confidence back and with the fitness you go to another level.

“The Peterborough game, I probably should have scored two or three.

“You talk about confidence, I can put those chances away when I’m at my best and running on full cylinders.

“I know I’ve got that to bring back to Doncaster.
“I’ve got that to show and that is what is keeping me going, the performances I know I’m capable of. I’m excited to be coming back to the club.”