Alfie Potter says he cannot wait to get back into action for Oxford United.
The winger was named as a substitute in last week’s 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers, having battled back from a broken ankle picked up in a match against the same opponents at the Kassam Stadium in November.
The 25-year-old appreciates that he is some way off match sharpness, but is relishing the chance to pull on the yellow shirt once again – and is hoping he will get the chance against Mansfield tomorrow.
Potter has suffered minor injury problems in the past, but admitted this setback really tested his resolve.
“It’s been the worst injury I have had,” he said. “I broke my ankle a couple of years ago, but that was a pretty straight-forward break.
“This time, however, there was a lot of stuff going on in my ankle so it’s been a long process getting it right. But I’m just buzzing to be back with the lads again.”
Potter suffered his unlucky break in United’s home game with Bristol Rovers on November 2, meaning it was just more than three months before he was back with the matchday squad.
It has given the former Peterborough man a big lift, but he admitted a return to action seemed a long way off in the early stages.
“I never expected to write the season off, but I maybe expected to be out for a bit longer than it has been,” he said.
“But when I eventually came out of the (protective) boot and I was working hard with the physio, I was progressing well and I knew it wasn’t going to be as long as I first thought.”
He added: “It was a great feeling to be involved again last week.
“I had been doing a bit of running for a couple of weeks, but to get back in amongst the boys last Friday felt great.
“I would have been able to play a little bit if needed, but considering the conditions I think the idea was to try to get through it without me.”
While nothing beats the buzz of playing competitively, Potter is pleased that there was no match for United this midweek, as it gives him more time to build up his strength.
And he knows that a reappearance in front of the United faithful tomorrow would be the ultimate boost.
“It has been an ideal week for me without a game,” he admitted.
“I have been able to get a full week of training under my belt because with a match we would have done a lighter session Monday, no training Tuesday so yes, for me it’s been a real help.
“Nothing can compare to minutes on the pitch, and I’m a naturally fit person, so I’d like to think it wouldn’t be too long before I’m up to full speed again.
“I half-wanted my first game back to be at home because of the fans, but warming up at Bristol on Saturday I got a great reception from the supporters.
“Hopefully I can be involved in some way on Saturday, but more importantly stay fit until the end of the season and help us achieve something.”