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Cherries: Defender Daniels feared his season was over
COMEBACK king Charlie Daniels has admitted he feared his chances of featuring in Cherries’ promotion push had all but bitten the dust.
Daniels made a dramatic return in Cherries’ 1-0 win over Oldham on Saturday – starring at Boundary Park despite having not trained for eight weeks.
The 26-year-old left-back, a key figure in the club’s long unbeaten run under Eddie Howe, finally succumbed to a persistent foot injury in January.
And after Daniels had initially failed to respond to treatment and been seen by a specialist, there were concerns his season may have come to a premature end.
But he recovered following a period of rest and was restored to the starting line-up against the Latics, a move boss Howe admitted had been “a bit of a punt”.
Daniels, who was replaced by Matt Ritchie after 73 minutes, told the Daily Echo: “The manager told me on Friday that I was going to start so my mind-set was right. I found out on Thursday that I would be travelling but thought I might be on the bench.
“I was a bit skeptical at first but, as soon as the game starts, you forget how long you have been out and soon get back into your natural rhythm. We had been aiming for 60 to 70 minutes and, fortunately, I got that far. I got through as much as I could although I did start to feel a bit leggy towards the end. I felt fine and so did my foot. I didn’t think I was naturally fit but, apparently, I am!”
Daniels, who missed 10 games, added: “It was a tough eight weeks and I was very frustrated. I have never before experienced an injury where I have been out for so long. I broke my foot last season but was only out for three or four weeks.
“I thought I might have needed an operation and that would have been the end of my season. I couldn’t do anything about it and we had tried everything we could. I was then advised to rest for three to four weeks to see if the bone would fuse.
“It was the last hope and, fortunately, it did the trick. Everything was fine and it repaired itself. I started jogging a couple of weeks ago and then started sprinting a few days ago. It was a bonus to be involved against Oldham and, if selected, it will be a bonus to feature in the last seven games. I am hoping it stays fine and I can kick on.”