Ben Erickson | Every game feels like a World Cup final
Ben Erickson admits it feels like a World Cup final every time he steps onto the pitch for Swansea City following his recent return from an injury nightmare that lasted well over two years.
The young defender, who has been with the Swans since under-13 level, recently returned to full fitness having made just 13 appearances for Swansea’s age-grade sides in 30 months.
Erickson’s long injury nightmare began ahead of the 2017-18 season, with a torn cartilage in his hip joint eventually leading to him being diagnosed with accessory soleus syndrome – a rare condition that affects less than 12 people in the UK every year.
Subsequent surgeries provided further setbacks during his recovery and, at one point, saw him confined to a wheelchair and sat in a hospital bed the club had installed in his front room at home.
However, he returned to make his debut for the under-23s as a late substitute in January’s Premier League Cup defeat by Charlton, while playing the full 90 minutes of the draw with Reading in the same competition.
The 19-year-old will be hoping to feature again on Monday as the development side travel to Colchester for their final Group A clash before bowing out of the tournament.
He revealed his delight at being back out on the pitch, and is eager to make up for lost time.
“Since I’ve come back, I’ve loved football again, which I haven’t been able to do for a long time,” he said.
“I’ve got so much enthusiasm to keep getting fitter and work on my performance levels. That has been driving me.
“After such a long time out and missing so much football, any game time I get feels like a World Cup final.
“I’ve been training every day and had no issues. Even after games, I’ve come off and felt fit.
“I proved to myself that I’m fit enough to play a full 90 minutes. That shows improvements in my fitness.
“I now need to stay fit to be up for selection every week. If I look after myself and be sensible, I’ll give myself the best chance to do that.”