We caught up with defender Michael Zullo to find out how his recovery is coming along, and when we can expect to see him back on the pitch.
Where have you been and what’s been going on?
It’s been an eventful season for myself and not necessarily in a good way. I sustained an injury at the start of the season that I recovered from, that was a quad injury, and then I got a niggly calf injury after a few weeks back. It was a very minor injury and not much to worry about at first but then it resulted in another calf injury which has kept me out for eight weeks. I’ve been working really hard with Ibrahim Kerem, our physio, and probably training the hardest I’ve trained in years. It feels like almost a really hard pre-season and I feel like I’ve caught up to the team. I’m definitely getting there and looking forward to playing minutes again. It’s just good to be fit and training with the boys again.
What have you been doing in regards to recovery?
It started off pretty low level, just trying to get the fundamentals right with the calf to get it healing correctly and activating how it should. Week by week there’s been progression in the load and strength. Doing a lot of running, lot of fitness stuff, a lot of agility work and a lot of work in the gym as well. I’ve started training again fully with the team last week, it’s good to be back. It’s always a tough time for a professional footballer to be injured, sometimes you feel like a failure on your own behalf but it’s just really bad luck and you have to get on with it and do everything you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
When can we expect to see you back on the pitch?
At this point it’s up to the coaches and medical staff. When you’re injured you have to focus on your own body and do all the things to be back and available for selection and after that it’s up to the coaches to pick you if you’re training well. The team has been doing really well so I’m not really in a position to demand anything, I’m just looking forward to enjoying myself on the field again and doing what I love.
When would you like to be back and how do you feel?
As soon as possible really. I would like to play against the Wanderers on the weekend but that’s up to Head Coach Steve Corica. I feel good now, I feel like I’ve done a really thorough rehab program. It’s been one step at a time and it’s really pushed me into uncomfortable territory, there’s been some really hard training sessions. No one can ever enjoy rehab but I have enjoyed the process of seeing my body come good again. Just the feeling of being fit and feeling good again, that was something that didn’t come easily for me this season. I’m just enjoying being back with the lads.
What have you made of the squad watching on from the sideline?
It’s an adjustment process for a footballer to not be involved. For a fan the climax of the week is going to the game and watching your team win, and for a player it’s the same. I’ve had to step back and be a fan, obviously the boys are top of the league and playing some exceptional football, and now I just want to be able to contribute in some way this season.