CAMERON Brannagan is proud of the way he has bounced back from an eye problem that left him fearing for his sight.

Last weekend marked a year since the Oxford United midfielder was hospitalised with rare inflammation that required quick action from staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The 25-year-old did not play for almost three months, before making his return at tomorrow’s opponents Burton Albion on January 2.

Brannagan has barely missed a kick since, featuring in 41 of United’s 42 Sky Bet League One games in 2021.

The U’s No 8 is focusing on the future, but social media recently reminded him of a dark time.

He said: “The other day it came up on my Snapchat memories.

“There was a picture of the eye a year ago.

“It was a bit crazy, but that’s long gone to be honest.

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“I’m looking forward and I’m quite proud of myself to get from where I was to where I am today.

“I don’t really think about it anymore, it’s a memory that’ll come up at this time of year.

“I’ve just got to concentrate on my football and keep winning games.”

Brannagan has previously spoken of his gratitude to Oxford Eye Hospital specialist Dr Sharma, who put off holiday to save his right eye last October.

The former Liverpool trainee was put on a course of steroids to treat the inflammation and initially had to train away from his teammates.

But he built up fitness and returned as a substitute at Burton, with tomorrow’s game the first time he has returned to the Pirelli Stadium since.

Since then, Brannagan has been an ever-present, although he was often used in a deeper position in the second half of last season.

United’s 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town last month is the only game he has missed in the calendar year.

The influential midfielder is playing higher up the pitch this season and has put in a string of good performances, as well as scoring three goals.

The most recent came against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, when United won 2-0 with head coach Karl Robinson watching from home as he was waiting for a PCR test result.

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That has since come back positive for coronavirus, meaning the U’s boss will miss tomorrow’s game and Tuesday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur Under 21s as he is self-isolating.

Brannagan stressed that Robinson’s absence cannot be an excuse, adding: “We wish him the best and hopefully we can keep getting results for him.

“I know he’ll be frustrated, but that’s the world we live in at the moment.

“Hopefully he can come back fit and well and we can do our job on the pitch.

“Everyone trains right every day, no-one’s hiding.

“We can only look forward to Saturday and get the job done.

“We’re going to stick together no matter what, the manager’s not here at this moment in time and it’s got to come from us players as well.”