Damien Stevens has vowed to return to competitive action for Ashington FC next season.
The striker suffered a bad injury in his right knee following an accidental clash with Penrith goalkeeper Jonny Jamieson a couple of weeks ago with the stopper immediately signalling that the Ashington man was seriously hurt.
The game, which was abandoned after a 40-minute delay, had seen Stevens notch his sixth goal of the season only five minutes earlier to put his side in front against the Cumbrians.
The Ashington-born player was taken to Cramlington Hospital and the following day underwent an operation on a broken patella.
The 24-year-old, a ground worker for a national firm of house builders, said he is indebted to a group of people following the injury and sent a message of thanks at the weekend.
“When I went in for the ball with the keeper, I heard a crunch and there was instant pain,” he said.
“I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Ashington physio Jay Robertson, former physio Leanne Symonds who was attending the match, Alan Brown, the management staff at Ashington FC including striker Ben Harmison who stayed with me throughout the ordeal, the paramedics and to the staff at Cramlington Hospital.”
Guide Post-based Stevens continued: “I’d also like to show my appreciation to the fans and to my former clubs who posted messages on social media whilst I received a get well card from Penrith.
“I have broken my ankle and wrist before but never had an injury like the one I have just suffered.
“In two weeks the cast is being taken off and the staples removed and the specialist will examine my leg.
“I will be put in a knee brace, and although my tibia and fibula are sore, they are OK.
“Once the cast comes off I’m hoping to get the green light to go begin weekly physiotherapy sessions with Steven Shaw, who is a recovery specialist.”
Stevens delivered the message everyone wanted to hear when he added: “I will definitely be returning to action, and I have even set a target to come back for the start of next season.
“Being in considerable pain at the moment is a constant negative, but I’ve got an upbeat attitude that things are only going to get better.”