Virtue: Rehab Going Well

Matty Virtue continues to make positive progress as he aims to return from a serious knee injury that has kept him sidelined since March.

The midfielder, who scored twice in 20 games last season, sustained an ACL injury in an away victory at Oxford United, resulting in surgery and a lengthy road back to recovery.

Yet the 24-year-old has approached the task with the mindset you’d expect and is achieving the targets in front of him.

“I’m probably at end stage of my gym only rehab now, so I’ve got a good strength basis at the minute and I’m now into the more dynamic movement, shifting my weight quickly. Hopefully I can be back out on the grass in the coming weeks,” Virtue revealed.

“Once you get the initial news of the injury, it’s obviously quite hard to take, but once you get over that, it goes quite quickly. You just have to focus on one thing to the next. You have little targets, which sort of make you forget about the other things going on. That has been keeping me going. I’m seeing the progress and feeling better every week.”

A real blow when the injury occurred, Virtue had been part of a Blackpool side with real momentum, only to be cruelly ruled out of the run-in and the chance to participate in the Seasiders’ play-off success.

“It came at a time when the team was playing well, and I felt that I was playing well. We were in a really good moment, so it was disappointing personally for it to happen at that point,” he admitted.

“I was supporting the lads and watching all the games. We were the in-form team going into those play-offs and I couldn’t see many teams beating us.

“Going to Wembley was a bitter-sweet moment. I was there and achieved my first promotion and was buzzing for all the lads, but I had my own battle at the time. I had only recently had my surgery and had all my rehab in front of me. While many of the players were preparing to play in the Championship, I was preparing to try and play football again.”

The challenge of doing just that is now closer than it was back then, however Virtue is reluctant to set a definite date for getting back out on the pitch as it stands, preferring to stick to the other hurdles first.   

“You don’t generally look at the long-term picture of being back playing. It’s about hitting those small targets, getting the strength back and making sure that those first days out on the pitch go OK.

“If I continue to hit those targets, then it should go quite quickly. Before I know it, I’ll hopefully be back with the lads training on the pitch,” he added.

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