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Wheater On Recovery Road

Posted: Wed 27 Jun 2012

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Big defender updates the club website on his summer plans following a cruciate ligament injury

David Wheater is taking inspiration from his good friend Matthew Bates as he bids to return to fitness from his cruciate ligament injury.

The 25-year-old was ruled out for approximately six months when he was forced from the field in innocuous circumstances during Bolton's final home fixture of last season against West Bromwich Albion.

Wheater simply cleared a cross from Baggies forward Shane Long but injured his right knee in the process.

However, he is taking comfort from the fact that his former Middlesbrough team-mate Bates has suffered a similar injury in the past and has gone on to play over 125 matches for the North-East club.

"It's definitely the worst injury I've ever had. I've only ever had broken noses in the past - I can't remember ever missing much football," Wheater exclusively told Wanderers Player.

"It was a shock when the doctor told me but you have to get into your head that it's happened and it's going to be a long road.

"One of my good friends Matthew Bates is out with his fifth cruciate injury at the minute and he's come back from every one. He's one to look to.

"So I'm texting him and he can be my inspiration - he sounds like a doctor he has had it so many times but he's definitely helping me through it all."

Wheater has just returned from a short summer break but it will be gym work for the foreseeable future now as he looks to step-up his rehab work, week by week.

The centre-half explained: "I have been in at Euxton much of the time since the end of the season.

"I had to shorten my holiday but I knew once the injury happened that I was going to be in the training ground and working on my rehab straightaway.

"I don't want to rush things because it's been my first bad injury and I don't want to come back too soon.

"I've spoken with the physios and I might be running in around three months. It will be hard, week by week.

"I had to learn to walk again because it takes time after the operation for the leg to straighten again. It sounds silly but it needs to be done.

"I've also been doing squats and lunges, all things to strengthen the knee."

Wheater will obviously be missing for the opening months of the 2012/13 season, but he is backing his colleagues to start well in their bid to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He added: "Relegation was tough on everyone, especially the fans because they want to see Premier League players coming to the ground every week.

"It's our job now to bounce back. We have to start brightly and get the results that we need to get back up to the Premier League.

"I think the Championship is the toughest league there is but we have still got a top quality squad. It's going to be a tough season but one I think will be successful."