Ipswich Town midfielder Luke Hyam vows to return stronger after injury and wants to earn new deal
Ipswich Town midfielder Luke Hyam insists he’ll return from a year on the sidelines more determined than ever.
The former Northgate High School pupil has been a regular for his boyhood club ever since emerging from the academy, becoming a firm favourite under Mick McCarthy’s management due to his tenacious play in the middle of the park.
However, he’s now not kicked a ball in anger since injuring his knee in an FA Cup third round match at Southampton back on January 14.
The frustrated 23-year-old was forced to watch on as his team-mates lost to bitter rivals Norwich City in the Championship play-off semi-finals back in May and then had to undergo surgery in the summer after a yet another setback.
“You have to set goals,” the midfielder told the official club programme. “My first one was just to get out of my house; then it was to get off crutches; then to start walking normally; then to get back to everyday life.
“Once I got the brace off my leg, then I could start pushing on each day.
“It’s been the toughest period I’ve had in football, but mentally I am quite strong. I think the whole experience is going to actually make me a better player, stronger player – and person. I will appreciate playing much more.”
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Having diligently done his rehab work alongside fellow long-term knee injury victim Luke Varney, Hyam continued: “We have pencilled in a date of November 2 for me to return to full training, but it’s a case of one day at a time.
“I’m lucky that I am naturally fit, so I’m confident I can get up to full fitness pretty quickly. Then I’ve got to try and get in the team. And that won’t be easy.
“This is the best squad I have seen in my time at the club, even going back to when Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi were here scoring goals and I was watching from the stands as part of the academy. I think we have got a good chance of getting promoted.
“I’m in the last year of my contract as well and want to do enough to extend my stay here so I’ve got some big challenges in front of me.”