Former Maiden City Soccer starlet Darron Gibson feared his professional football career was over after suffering a debilitating knee injury last season.
The 27-year-old Hazelbank man missed most of Everton’s 2013/14 campaign with Cruciate Ligament damage he sustained while playing for the Republic of Ireland.
When he finally returned to the Everton side last September he was sidelined with another knee injury before Christmas which kept him out of action until earlier this month.
The ex-Manchester United midfielder has now made back-to-back substitute appearances against Chelsea and Leicester City and he played a staring role in the Europa League win over Young Boys.
“This is the best I’ve felt since I got injured so, touch wood, that is me back now to where I was,” Gibson said. “The main thing is mentally.
“It has been tough for me and there was a stage when I didn’t think I was going to come back. Not recently, but I just couldn’t get rid of the pain but then suddenly the gym work was paying off and the pain disappeared.
“It feels good again. It has been frustrating for me over the last 18 months but my knee seems to be back to where it was before I got injured.
“So, touch wood, and I feel good again. I’m just happy to be back onto the pitch again and playing well. In a way you could say it is the start of my Everton career again.
“The lads who have been playing have been doing well so I’ve got a point to prove when I am playing well. At the start of the season when I was coming on, I probably wasn’t ready but I feel like I’m ready and fit again.”