CHRIS McCann admits there have been some extremely dark days on the comeback trail as he nears a long-awaited first-team return.
The 27-year-old yesterday came through 90 minutes for Wigan Athletic’s Development Squad in their 3-3 draw with Tranmere at Christopher Park.
It was McCann’s first full outing since he shattered a kneecap in the FA Cup victory at Manchester City back in March, following a 70-minute run-out in a specially-arranged friendly against Everton last week.
Ben Watson also got through his first 90 minutes as he recovers from the badly broken leg he suffered against Barnsley back in February.
And McCann is hoping the duo have issued a timely reminder to boss Uwe Rosler that they are closing in on a return to the first-team fold.
“It’s just nice to get back out there, out on the field,” McCann told the Evening Post.
“It’s been a very long road and there have been some very tough times that I’ve had to go through.
“You’re so used to do what you do, and then to have that taken away is absolutely horrible.
“But I’m happy to have come through it and out the other side. All the hard work has been worth it.”
McCann would have been back already had he not suffered a setback towards the end of his rehab that knocked him back a few weeks.
But he has been determined not to rush things and risk further delay, and admitted his relief when he came through the first few challenges unscathed.
“I’ve had a couple of challenges, and I think that’s good to get through and put your mind at rest,” he said.
“When you’ve been out for so long you’re wondering about that first tackle, but once that’s out of the way you settle back into it.”
McCann also says having Watson for company in the treatment room helped both men focus on their goals after the initial hammer-blow of suffering serious injury.
“It’s been nice to have Ben alongside me, as he’s been in the same boat,” recognised the ex-Burnley man, who has already set his sights on a first-team recall.
“I don’t want to put an exact date on when I’d like to be back for, but having played two games now I am be looking to push on and put myself in contention for the first team.
“And I think the lads will welcome us both back into the squad.
“The team has gone through a bit of a sticky patch this season but you get through them and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”
WIGAN’S long-distance trip to Brighton next Tuesday will be beamed back to the DW Stadium.
The full match will be shown in the Marquee in the North Stand, with doors opening from 6pm.
Tickets are £7 adults, £5 adult season-ticket holders and £2 Under-16’s, with bar facilities available.