Jem working hard on his recovery
Jem Karacan was back on grass for the first time in nine months this week, as he took another tentative step in his recovery from an horrific knee injury that curtailed his involvement in the 2013/14 Sky Bet Championship season. Reading FC Player caught up with him at Hogwood Park.
Jem, you have been working away over the summer up at Hogwood and it must be great to be back jogging on grass – how has it been going?
It’s nice to be back on the pitch, it’s been coming up to nine months now since I got the injury and it’s been tough, but just to get back on the grass again and really start getting somewhere is a nice feeling.
Talk us through the stages of your rehab – you have had to be careful and take it step by step haven’t you?
“When I did it, it wasn’t your standard cruciate injury. I had my torn my meniscus, strained my medial ligaments and ruptured my cruciate ligaments; with the trauma and the impact of the injury, we knew as soon as I got in the treatment room during the game it was bad, it ballooned up straight away. There has been plenty of rest, there have been a few stumbling blocks and a few months ago when we stepped up the treatment there was a setback, and I needed another operation to go inside, have a clean up and see what was causing it, just to get rid of some of the scar tissue. Since then I’ve been in the gym every day, and just recently stepped up my leg work. It’s been about trying to be patient, it’s tough and a long process, but we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now.”
You’ve paid tribute a number of times to the medical staff and facilities at the club?
They’ve been amazing. I’ve been in their ear a lot and trying to step things up but I couldn’t push it any quicker. Even if I wanted to get back at the end of the season my leg and knee just weren’t strong enough. We’ve always had that I’m still young, 25, I’ve got one year left on my contract and if I was to push it and have another setback I would put my career in danger. We are getting there now, I look forward to the start of the season for pre-season.
Is that the target, to have some involvement before the start of the season?
I sat down with Luke (Anthony – Head of Sports Medicine) and we looked at targets to see when I can get back. I obviously want to get back for the first day of pre-season but I have to be patient. Think about it - you don’t run for eight months, you only walk, even a little jog is a big step up as you are getting your gait going and getting back that fluid of movement. We’ve got great machines that have helped massively with my rehab and now my body is getting used to different exercises. It’s nice to get that feeling back again after a jog! Even the cramp! I’ve missed the cramp…it’s been so long.”
Here more from Jem later this week - as he answers the fans' questions from our official Twitter page.