It has been a truly frustrating couple of seasons for Bournemouth's Callum Wilson, but a broad smile is finally back on his face after overcoming two cruciate ligament injuries. The striker was back to what he does best on Saturday - scoring goals.
Reported by the Daily Mirror, Wilson spoke about his injury nightmare. In 2015, he suffered the first injury in his right knee at Stoke City, the timing could not have been any worse after scoring five goals and starting the season confidently.
He was in contention for an England call up. Then just six months later the same injury struck again, but this time incredibly in his left knee.
On Saturday, against Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, he overcame the nagging doubts and justified the hard work in rehabilitation needed to get back to his physical and mental pinnacle and was finally rewarded with a hat trick - his first league goals since January.
Wilson said: “It’s tough on yourself, and your family. It’s not something I’d want any player to go through.
“Having one is bad enough, two is devastating. Sometimes you doubt yourself, wondering are you going to get back to the levels you want to get to?
“After being injured for the first one, you can rush your rehab a bit after having a long-term injury and I think that’s what I did, sell myself short and not give my body the time it needed. I’ve learned my lesson from experience.
“When you suffer the second one you hit rock bottom. You’re thinking ‘God, man’. You have a few dark days and then you’ve just got to pick yourself up, get in the right frame of mind to hit the nine months hard."
Thankfully, the talented striker has a supportive network around him to aid his recovery and serve as a huge inspiration especially during the dark times. The fact that Wilson can now show his son Oritse what his dad is truly capable of fills the England hopeful with immense pride.
“When I scored in the EFL Cup against Middlesbrough, he was here and was buzzing.
“He is starting to get back into it again now realising that his dad plays week-in, week-out rather than just sitting watching with him on the sideline."
Timing in football is always important and with Wilson's return to goal scoring action and a World Cup looming next summer, the injury nightmares of the last few seasons could finally be over.
Selection for a trip to Russia to represent your country would be ample reward for the perseverance needed to overcome any serious long term injury.