Brunt Bearing Up

RYAN Brunt is cruising along the road to recovery.

Popular striker Ryan, 22, has been on the outside looking in since sustaining the second cruciate ligament injury of his young career when getting injured at Barnet on March 1. That has not stopped the striker remaining positive as he bids to return to full fitness as soon as possible.  It is too early for the initial six-to-nine-month recovery timetable to be narrowed down yet, but the positive news for Pilgrims fans is that there have yet to be any setbacks since Ryan suffered his injury. 

“The recovery is going really well,” said Ryan. “I saw the surgeon last week he said everything is fine and going as well as it possibly could. Andy Williams, one of the top surgeons, has done it and I’m as confident as can be really.

“I can’t tell how long it’ll be until later on in the rehab.  I’d like it to be six months and to be back for the start of the season but that’ll probably be too optimistic. If you come back too quickly, your hamstring is a bit sore or you pull a calf. That is part and parcel of it because you don’t use the muscles in a match situation.”

Brunt has unfortunately suffered exactly the same injury previously, injuring his other knee when playing for Stoke as an apprentice. He explained how that experience has benefitted his recovery so far this time around.

“It was Stoke in a youth team game and I had the same feeling then,” he said. “As soon as I went down at Barnet I knew I had done it again. 

“When I did it when I was 17 I went in not having a clue about it and never even heard of what a cruciate was really. I came out the operation not knowing what was going on.

“I’ve learnt a lot over the last six years and now I’m happy with how I need to go about things; what I need to do and when I need to do them, so it’s been much easier. I shouldn’t have the injury again now as my knees should be stronger than people that have cruciates in both knees.”

Brunty will travel to Philadelphia next week for rehabilitation with Bill Knowles, an expert in the field. Knowles has over 25 years of experience in overseeing athletes’ recovery from serious injury and saw Brunt after his first knee operation, meaning Ryan has a level of comfort with the American.  

Ryan said: “It’s not a holiday; I’m working hard Monday to Friday, but it’s a change of scenery and it’s a great thing for me to go and do, especially at this stage. 

“He lectures all over the world and has got this package and plan that works; his positivity is great.  I’ve been liaising with him and Paul (Atkinson, Argyle physiotherapist);  just getting the balance of trying to get back as soon as I can and as well as I can.”

Ryan was having arguably the best season of his career, netting 10 league goals for the Pilgrims by March and was in the midst of a purple patch when he suffered the injury at the Hive, making it all the more unfortunate. 

“Its football isn’t it,” Ryan said. “Because we’re fighting for promotion I wanted to play every minute I can and I was enjoying playing with a freedom and a confidence. I hadn’t really had that before because it takes time and effort to get that way. I felt confident when playing because this season I was under a manager that got the best out of me.

“Moping around is the worst thing I can do.  Everyone keeps on asking daily how I’m getting on and stuff like that and it is a really nice thing to hear, to push the recovery every day. It’s not something you enjoy doing, going to the gym to do the same thing as yesterday and the day before that. 

“There are quite a few periods when you need a lot of self motivation so the messages from the supporters have been fantastic.”