Niall Mason’s delight at his swift return from a rather gruesome sounding injury is not simply down to his desire to be back in the mix with promotion-chasing Doncaster Rovers
If the ligament damage to his toe, suffered during a tackle in the FA Cup win at Charlton Athletic, had been slightly worse, the versatile full back's season would be over already.
“It was a full rupture of the ligament that runs across the top of my foot into my big toe," Mason said.
"The main thing you use in football when you're planting your foot is your big toe.
“I was a bit worried about it at first because I thought I might have had to have surgery on it.
“I think it'd have been about six months if I did have to have surgery.
"The surgeon said without surgery I'd probably be back in six to eight weeks so I’m happy to be back after five.
“It's been a frustrating time being injured. I was just unfortunate with that tackle at Charlton.
“I’m just really happy to be back.”
Mason returned off the bench to play the final half hour of Rovers' defeat at Wycombe Wanderers last weekend before a 60 minute outing for the U23s on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old's return has been relatively seamless – even allowing time for a holiday.
“For three weeks the surgeon literally told me to do nothing,” Mason said.
"So I did nothing for three weeks. I even went away with my girlfriend for five days which was nice.
“There literally wasn't a lot I could do.
“After four weeks I was running and five weeks I was back.
“I feel like haven’t lost fitness at all. It's like I've hardly been away.”
Mason could make his return to the starting XI for Saturday’s visit of Burton Albion, though boss Grant McCann may be keen to reward the good form of Matty Blair with another appearance.
Mason is focused on winning back his place and helping Rovers continue their push for promotion.
“It's just about getting back in with the lads and getting us to promotion," he said.
"I was to play well for the team, the manager and the club and get us back into the Championship.
"It's been a really good period for the team which is great for the lads but hopefully I can be back in soon.”