Injured Dundee United ace Peter Pawlett had to learn how to walk properly again after surgery, he has revealed.
The 31-year-old midfielder is working his way back to fitness after an operation to correct an Achilles problem which has dogged him since 2017.
Pawlett said that he has played through the pain for years but was forced to take time out of the game for surgery after being left in agony after games.
Despite this, he put his body on the line making himself available for selection for 90% of games this season.
Re-learning to walk properly
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve always walked with a limp,” Pawlett told DUTV. “People always say to me: ‘Are you injured?’
“But I’ve just become used to the pain and found a way to manage it until now.
“It has been four weeks since my operation and I’m starting to get out of the boot and walk.
“I’m actually learning to walk a normal way again after five years. I’ve always walked with that limp to protect my Achilles.
“It’s quite a tough ask for the physios to change the way I walk again without consciously thinking that pain is going to come.
“I was having a walk today in the gym, just 10 steps but I naturally go to that limp.
Peter Pawlett bay-bay! 🙌
— SPFL (@spfl) October 28, 2021
“Now I could probably work normally, but it’s just training myself to walk the right way again.
“Then it will be a gradual build up to jogging then sprinting.
“It will be a long process but to play without that stabbing pain in my Achilles will be a godsend for me.”
No summer holidays
Last month, the club announced that Pawlett would miss the remainder of this season to undergo the procedure.
It’s hoped the United midfielder will be back fit for the start of the next campaign.
The Englishman admits there will be no summer holiday as he embarks on a rigorous fitness programme.
“The surgeons said there will always be that little bit of pain but it should disappear over time,” Pawlett explain.
“The plan is to return, hopefully, the start of next season. If it carries on and I miss maybe a month, that’s fine.
“I’m looking at the bigger picture – to be pain free is the drive.
“Over summer there will be no break for me, I’ll be working hard.
“It will be an intense rehab programme; walking, jogging, just all the levels of the next stage.
“I am looking forward to it. As much as I could be on holiday, I’m not bothered.
“I’ve got the rest of my life for holidays; I want to get this right.”