BEN Watson reckons he’s at the halfway mark of his recovery from a badly broken leg.
And the Latics midfielder is counting the days before he is back on the football field again.
Watson’s right leg – and entire campaign – was shattered in a sickening collision during the 2-0 home win over Barnsley on February 18.
After several minutes of treatment, Watson was stretchered from the field strapped to an oxygen mask, and whisked straight to hospital.
The grim diagnosis was a badly-broken leg requiring a complicated operation.
But after a period of recuperation and over three months of gruelling rehab, Watson says he can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“The leg’s coming along fine, I’d probably say I’m around half the way through at the moment,” he told the Evening Post.
“It’s been just over three months since I did it, and I reckon I’m looking at another three months – hopefully – before I’m back.
“The first three-and-a-half months have gone pretty quick, so hopefully the next three-and-a-half months go just as quick.”
At least Watson knows the drill for recovery from serious injury, having broken the same leg 15 months earlier before returning to write himself into FA Cup folklore last May.
“The last one was a lot more straight-forward. This one was much more complicated,” Watson revealed.
“Whereas the last one was just a break, this time I needed an operation, with screws, plates and rods involved.”
While most of his team-mates are away enjoying sun, sea and sand after a long and arduous campaign, Watson remains at Christopher Park, with only fellow injured players Chris McCann, Gary Caldwell and James McArthur for company.
“I’m doing a lot of gym work on the bike and the rowing machine, also swimming,” he said.
“I can fully weight bear now – the leg itself is fine now, fully healed.
“It’s just about getting strength back in the leg and mobility back in the ankle.”
The next target for Watson is a meeting with the specialist in July that will hopefully give him the green light to get his boots back on.
“I’ve got another appointment in July, and I’m hoping to get the all-clear to train again,” the 28-year-old added.
“I saw him a few weeks ago and he gave me the all-clear to crack on with my rehab.
“I had a little setback with my ankle – there was a bit of nerve damage – which set me back a week.
“But everything is coming along fine now and I’m looking forward to next season.
“I don’t want to rush anything. I just want to make sure everything’s right.
“For now, the next step is getting outside and jogging in pre-season, and we can crack on from there. I can’t wait to get out there.
“Long-term injuries are always frustrating, but it’s part and parcel of football.
“These things happen and you’ve just got to get on with it.”