It’s been a frustrating few months for forward Darren Stephenson.
He’s been out of action since our 1-1 draw at Southport with a serious injury. He had suffered a hyper-extension of the knee, which led to ligament damage and bone bruising – but the good news for Darren and the club is that he’s now back on the training pitch doing some light training.
“It’s been a really frustrating time,” said Darren, who turns 31 in a few weeks. “But it’s going better now than it was two or three weeks ago. I’m upping my training, I’ve been doing gym and ball work. I’m pleased to get out on the training pitch with the lads again!
“It’s been a difficult injury and the worst one I’ve had in terms of there wasn’t much I could do to improve it or step it up, other than rest it and hope it gets better in time. There were days when you thought it was getting better, and you try something and then realise you can’t do that yet.”
Darren’s been doing gym work and physio and has recently started to do some work on the training pitch, which he has been stepping up over the past week.
Understandably, he’s reluctant to put a timescale on his return: “I need to get myself fit but I don’t want to rush it and set myself back for another month or longer.”
He paid tribute to the support of Farsley physio Gareth Liversedge for his work, and while he’s been out he’s kept in touch with gaffer Clayton Donaldson, director of football Pav Singh and owner Paul Barthorpe, as well as his fellow players. He also said support from home had been invaluable as he battles back towards full fitness.
In his first season with the Celts, Darren has notched four goals in 17 appearances in all competitions and felt he had settled in well at The Citadel after joining The Celts last summer.
“The lads have really impressed in my absence and we’ve added new players like Coulo and Jack Evans – everyone who has come in has impressed and has been positive for the team,” he said.
“My aim for the rest of the season is to get myself back fit, contribute to the team and get back on the scoresheet. I’m still not far behind in terms of being top goalscorer and I can’t wait to get involved!”
The Jamaican-born forward originally came through the youth system at Bradford City, where he also had loan spells with Hinckley United, Woodley Sports, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Southport.
After leaving the Bantams, Stephenson has also appeared for Chorley, Tranmere Rovers, AFC Fylde, Stockport County, FC Halifax Town, Curzon Ashton and Chester FC.
We can’t wait to see Darren back out on the pitch!