Swansea City Under-21s Lee Lucas injury
17th February 2016
Swansea City's Lee Lucas says he is ready to make his return after nearly two years out of the game.
The midfielder, who rose through the ranks at Swansea City's academy from the age of nine, turned professional during the 2010-11 season and made his debut during the 4-0 Championship win over Sheffield United in May 2011.
Following loan spells with Burton Albion and Cheltenham Town, the 23-year-old missed the first seven months of the 2014-15 season after rupturing his anterior knee ligament.
Lucas was left sidelined once again last year after suffering a reoccurrence of the same injury whilst making his return during a game for the Under-21s in March.
"It has been a long few months since that game against Bristol City," he admitted. "I played about 25 minutes of that game but then I felt my knee go and you just think to yourself, not again!
"I had a repeat of the same injury and you just feel no luck is going your way when that happens.
"You are left to repeat the process all over again and have to stay mentally as well as physically strong to get yourself back in contention.
"It has been a long year and there have been hard times but the knee feels strong and now I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel."
Lucas was not alone with a hard luck injury story at the club with team-mate Alex Bray suffering the same injury a few weeks later.
The players soon struck-up a bond behind the scenes as they went through the rehabilitation process with medical staff at the club.
"Myself and Alex had the operation the same day," he said. "We have been supportive to each other through the entire recovery.
"Alex played his first game back with the Under-21s a few weeks ago and I was really happy for him, especially knowing what he has gone through to get to this position. I am pleased to see him back out there - he's looked sharp since his return.
"Watching Alex and training with him has helped me with the final few steps of my recovery. I am a few weeks behind him but I have taken his positives and used it as a target to help me progress."
With only two weeks of full contact full contact training under his belt this season, Lucas was included on the bench for the Under-21s' game against West Ham earlier this month.
Despite not getting off the bench to feature, he saw it as another step on his road to full recovery.
"I was delighted to be included in the squad to face West Ham," he continued. "It was a nice feeling just to be traveling with the team again and get back into a routine. Even small stuff like that helps you recover mentally and drives you more to get back out there.
"My next hurdle is to get myself back in full contention and play a few games for the development squad this season.
"It has been tough to be away from something you love doing, but it is great to be so close to football again."