Luckless Lewis Vaughan admits he struggled to contain his emotions when Raith Rovers fans embarked on a minute’s applause in his honour.
Vaughan, 25, is coming to terms with rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) for the fourth time, prematurely ending his campaign.
The mercurial marksman has now suffered the devastating damage twice in each knee and will go under the knife in the final week of October.
Vaughan recently penned a new contract until 2024 and the Stark’s Park club — and its fans — will continue to support the front-man in his bid to get fit and firing once again.
💬 10 | Minutes applause around the stadium for Lewis Vaughan. #rrfclive
— RRFC Live Updates (@RRFCUpdates) September 4, 2021
That was underlined during the recent fixture against Forfar Athletic, when the home fans gave Vaughan, who was in the stands, a raucous reception in the 10th minute — mirroring his squad number.
“It meant a lot to know that the fans were thinking about me and supporting me — it was amazing,” said Vaughan. “I had to keep it together a wee bit!
“It’s brilliant to have the fans behind me and know they have stuck by me.
“Not many clubs, and not many fanbases, can say they have stuck by a player who has done four ACLs so it’s a massive, amazing gesture from the club and the fans.
“I appreciate it and without them it would be hard to come back from one ACL, never mind four.”
Road to recovery
After specialist consultation, Vaughan has been given a positive forecast regarding his hopes of making a full recovery.
The gruelling rehabilitation programme will begin following the procedure next month and Vaughan — all-too familiar with the process — is a man with the mental strength and drive to complete the journey.
“I’m feeling okay. I’m off the crutches, I’m able to walk and put a bit of weight through it [the knee] again,” Vaughan told Raith TV. “In the short-term, it’s about getting my leg as strong as possible before I get the procedure done.
“I’m getting the operation done toward the end of October — it’s pencilled in for roughly October 25 and I’ll try to keep myself ticking over until then.
“The main thing for me is just getting the knee fixed and we’ll take it from there.
“The end goal is to get back playing football again. There aren’t many players who can say they’ve come back from four ACLs, so hopefully — long-term — I’ll be back playing.”