Edwards buzzing to be back from injury
Nine months ago he suffered an injury that could have been career ending.
But now, fit-again Joe Edwards is determined to recapture the form that saw him crowned Walsall’s player of the year.
The midfielder, who injured his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee back in February, finally returned to action in Walsall’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Shrewsbury on Wednesday.
And the 28-year-old was eager to thank everyone who has supported him on his long road back to the Saddlers first-team.
“It was an amazing feeling being back on that pitch,” Edwards said.
“I have waited nine-and-a-half months for that moment. It’s what I’ve dreamt about from the moment the injury happened.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work and having a lot of supportive people around me to make it happen.
“I have only got through it because of the support I have had around me both from my family, my girlfriend, my friends, from all the boys and all the fans.
“The staff have been fantastic. I can’t thank Rev (physio Marc Czuczman) enough, he has been magnificent with me.
“It’s been a challenge but it’s something I’ve tackled head on and luckily come out the other side of.”
Despite the seriousness of the injury he picked up against Blackburn last season, Edwards actually tried to play on at the time.
And he revealed it wasn’t until a few months later that he was told it could have been career ending.
“I went down and felt something in my knee – but with an ACL you can run in a straight line almost,” he continued.
“People have run marathons with an ACL injury, which is amazing.
“I got back up to see if I could carry on, but when I cut in and twisted, my knee gave way because there was no stability there.
“I found out on the Monday when I had a scan that I had done the ACL. But it wasn’t until later down the line I was told it could have been career threatening. The surgeons and the specialists don’t like to tell you straight away.
“But right from the start I trained my mind to believe it was a bad injury but one I would come back from. That has been my mentality from the moment it happened.”
Edwards is now expected to continue his rehab by being on the bench for tomorrow’s game with Coventry. And he believes it won’t be long before he is back to his best.
“The injury was a horrible because I was enjoying my football and doing well,” he added.
“But I’m buzzing to be back. It will take a while to get that sharpness back. I have been training now for three weeks and they felt it was the right time to go in and play a game. But I’d like to think it will be sooner rather than later that I get that form back.”