Ex-Derry City man Ben Doherty hopes to be back from collarbone surgery sooner than expected
Midfielder Ben Doherty was delighted to be back in the Coleraine dressing room on Tuesday night and admits he’s a head of schedule following surgery on his broken collarbone.
The former Derry City man suffered the injury after falling heavily during the Bannsiders’ win over Carrick Rangers earlier this month, but he believes he may be back in action sooner than expected.
“I’m hoping I’m not going to be out as long as I first thought,” insisted Doherty, “Since having my surgery just over a week ago, the difference in the pain already is crazy because the collarbone has been fixed. Now it’s just the matter of the bone healing together again and then getting the strength built up again.
“I’m hoping when I go back to see my consultant in three weeks time, he tells me that I can start doing my cardio stuff and build my fitness up again, so I’m ready to go whenever the time comes for contact training and getting back to playing matches again.
“At the start I was a bit disheartened because I thought ‘I’m going to be out for a long time’, but obviously after speaking to the consultant, they were very happy with how my operation went and even myself, knowing my own body, I don’t feel the pain as much as I did. It’s definitely improving and hopefully I’m back sooner rather than later.”
The 23-year-old, who had scored 10 goals and had one assist prior to his injury, admits the enforced break to the 2020/21 campaign probably didn’t come at a good time for the Bannsiders as Oran Kearney’s men had secured three victories in a row.
Despite the stoppage, Doherty hopes his team-mates can continue their good form this weekend when the season gets back underway with the visit of Dungannon Swifts.
“We were getting into a bit of form, I was hitting a bit of individual form myself and this was after coming off the back of a few defeats,” he added.
“In our televised game against Dungannon Swifts before Christmas, we didn’t do ourselves justice and deservedly lost on the night. Everyone then was talking about a ‘crisis at Coleraine’ after what we had achieved last season and our European adventure earlier in the season. Within the changing room we knew ourselves it wasn’t good enough but we always felt that we just had to get a run together and pick up a few results.
“We beat Warrenpoint and then started to get a wee run going. Following that Warrenpoint win we went away to Cliftonville and won, beat Carrick and then for myself to pick up an injury and with the league being halted, it wasn’t ideal as we were hitting a bit of form and maybe other teams weren’t.
“So yeah, I’m looking forward to just getting back at it because things were going well and hopefully now on Saturday when the league restarts the boys can continue that good form. I know they’ve been working hard on their own, doing their own training programmes.”
Coleraine haven’t trained collectively or played since Doherty’s injury so he’s hoping when he eventually gets back to training that he won’t be too far off the pace.
“Although it’s a bad injury, it’s probably the best time to have an injury,” he explained. “I broke my collarbone now just over two weeks ago and until this week I haven’t missed anything and touch wood I don’t miss much at all. I’m taking the positives in terms of I haven’t missed too much.
“I was back in the changing room on Tuesday night and that was the first time meeting everybody again, because I hadn’t seen anyone in the squad since it happened and it was good to get back in amongst it. I never pictured that happening when the injury first happened. I thought it could have been a lot longer so seeing the boys and being back in the changing room was a positive,”
And despite the enforced sabbatical, Doherty confirmed his targets remain the same.
“The target has continued to stay the same. We want three points on Saturday against Dungannon Swifts and then we move onto the next game,” he confirmed.
“We have had to be a bit ruthless with ourselves and some stern words were said in the changing room. We said, ‘Look, if we want to win anything or do anything, then we need to start picking up three points every Saturday, no matter what happened in the European run or over the last year. That’s forgotten about now’. We all said that we had to knuckle down to try and replica last year to push Coleraine as high up the table as we can.
“We know that if we want to get even close to what we did last year then we need to keep working hard, both on and off the pitch.
“As for myself, I was getting back to scoring goals and assists and that’s why you play the game. Goals win matches and no one will ever say they don’t like being in the headlines for scoring goals.
“Hopefully after the injury when I do get back I can pick up from where I left off in terms of my form.”