Jon Grey | We’re all delighted for Jordi
Jon Grey was delighted to see so many months of hard work pay off for Jordi Govea and the Swansea City academy medical team, after the defender marked his long-awaited return from injury with a goal in the under-23s’ win over Millwall.
Within nine minutes of coming off the bench, the full-back slotted home the second goal that sealed the points for the young Swans in the Professional Development League South encounter.
To say that Govea has endured an injury nightmare would be putting it mildly.
Tuesday’s cameo marked the first time the Ecuadorian-born defender had pulled on a Swansea City shirt in anger since the under-23s’ defeat by Tottenham Hotspur at the Liberty in April 2019.
A series of injuries – including lateral collateral ligament damage and hamstring problems – forced him to miss the entire 2019-20 season, as well as the first half of this campaign.
But after just under two years of blood, sweat and tears behind the scenes with academy head physiotherapist Bethany Chaddock and the medical team, the former Real Madrid defender made his long-awaited return to action for the final 20 minutes against Millwall.
The 21-year-old certainly wasted no time in making an impact, and was mobbed by his team-mates as he scored the all-important second goal of the contest.
But rather than celebrate with them, Govea ran straight over to the dugout where he shared an emotional embrace with Chaddock – with both shedding tears after seeing their hard work and dedication finally pay dividends.
Grey, who is hopeful Govea can now banish his injury nightmare once and for all, also paid tribute to the efforts of the medical team during his recovery.
“It was really pleasing; we’re all delighted for him,” he said.
“He’s a cracking lad and really has been through the mill with injuries; he’s been so unlucky.
“He was in tears at the end after coming back and getting some minutes under his belt.
“We’ve got to be careful with him after being out for so long.
“Although he’s a defender, we introduced him on the left wing for a bit of protection and to ease him back in. But Jordi being Jordi, he wanted to run forward and follow the rebound in from Dan’s shot.
“All the players chased him to the corner flag and went to jump on him, but he pushed them all off and ran straight to Beth and gave her a big hug.
“You’ve got to give Beth and the other physios lots of credit; they’ve worked their socks off with him.
“To get him back on the pitch and doing what he loves doing, it was a really proud moment for everyone involved.”