King’s Lynn Town defender Wall on the road to recovery
- Credit: Matthew Usher
King's Lynn Town defender Stuart Wall is stepping up plans to complete his long-awaited return to football.
Wall has been sidelined since August 11 last year after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while warming up for a pre-season friendly against Soham Town Rangers.
His road to recovery started to look shorter when, thanks to the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), he underwent surgery to rebuild the shattered joint on January 3.
And on Wednesday his comeback hopes accelerated when he ran for the first time since he went under the knife.
The 25-year-old said: 'After the operation it was boring as I spent about three weeks on the sofa trying to get a full range of movement in the knee.
'Then it was about weight-bearing and being able to walk comfortably before doing things like lots of lunges to help stabilise the muscles around the knee and going on cycling machines in the gym.
'Now I've started running again. I did 20 minutes on a treadmill and it did feel weird because I've not run for so long. I felt really cautious as the difference between walking and jogging is that you're putting all your weight on the leg. It was the first time all my weight had gone through my repaired knee.
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'But it felt no different to a normal knee, and I did an hour of cardio work altogether, so that was brilliant.'
Lynn's player and players' player of last season is hoping to be signed off from his specialist at some point in the next four to five weeks.
After that he should continue his rehabilitation with former Peterborough United physio Peter Corder, who works at the city's Fitzwilliam Hospital, ahead of progressing to non-contact sports like badminton – which will test the ability of his knee to change directions.
Even though it will still be at least the summer, if there aren't any setbacks, before he kicks a ball again, Wall admits he is dreaming of pulling on the Linnets' shirt next season.
'The hardest part was after the operation because I was sitting down and not even walking,' said the popular centre-back, who has watched plenty of Linnets' matches in recent weeks.
'Now I'm getting active again and doing something gives me goals to aim for every week. It's hard to motivate yourself when you're in the gym for a long time. But when I'm struggling to get through it and I can't get oxygen into my lungs I challenge myself. The thought of playing football again is driving me on.
'Gary (Setchell), the coaching staff and the lads have been brilliant as they've kept me in the loop. I can only see us winning the title too.
'We're firing on all cylinders, despite a blip at Stamford, and for me Coalville have bottled it.
'We were 17 points behind and now it's just two, which for me is phenomenal.'