Wigan Athletic return is child's play for midfielder

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Coming back from long-term injury to help Wigan Athletic over the line to automatic promotion was child's play for Jordan Cousins.

The tough-tackling midfielder has been a surprise addition to the squad in the last fortnight, having previously been ruled out for the campaign by boss Leam Richardson.

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Cousins, however, remained determined he'd make it back onto the field before the end of the season.

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Jordan CousinsJordan Cousins
Jordan Cousins

And having followed up a half-hour cameo at Ipswich with 90 minutes against Plymouth, he's lifted the lid on his faster-than-expected recovery.

"Ipswich was tough, but it was what I needed, some minutes on the pitch," said Cousins.

"Starting against Plymouth, it was about seeing how I felt, and it went really well.

"I'm absolutely buzzing to be back out there with the boys.

"A lot of people probably thought they wouldn't see me again this season, but here I am.

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"I'm just glad to be playing again, and fingers crossed I can stay fit until the last game and continue to contribute.

"I was always hopeful of making it back before the end of the season.

"It was obviously very disappointing when it happened, but I quickly dusted myself down and started the recovery.

Cousins was sidelined with a gruesome injury - with his thigh muscle being ripped off the bone against Shrewsbury at the beginning of December.

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"It was a very unusual injury to be fair," Cousins acknowledged.

"They all thought it was just a dead leg, and when the scan results came back, it showed I'd ruptured my tendon.

"I'm sure people thought in the Shrewsbury game I was tossing it off, leaving the field with only a dead leg!

"But it was far worse than that, and it is what it is, these things happen in football."

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And there was a silver lining to the cloud, with the Cousins family also welcoming baby Ruby into the world.

"I spent a good six weeks down in London, which coincided with the birth of my child, she was down there at the same time," Cousins revealed.

"And I cling to stuff like that, because had it not been for the injury, I would never have had that amount of time at home with my new baby.

"When I came back up to Wigan, I spent every single day in the gym, doing the rehab, doing everything right.

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"Getting to the back end of the rehab, I knew there was a chance of getting back before the end of the season.

"So credit to the coaching staff and the medical staff who did everything they could to make that happen.

"It's been so frustrating not being able to get out there.

"I've been to most of the home games, and trying to kick every ball with the boys out there on the pitch.

"It's never going to be the 11 players out there who win you a promotion.

"It's the 22-23-24 in the squad who all do their bit to get you over the line.

"That's something we have here at Wigan, everyone pushing in the right direction, which you need."