Matt Bloomfield column: 'I had gym addiction while injured'
Every time I read about a professional footballer suffering a serious injury I feel awful, knowing exactly how they are feeling and the months of physical and mental torment ahead.
The fears and anxieties about their injury and rehabilitation, how the injury will affect their career and the downright devastation at having to spend such a long time not doing the one thing that we love.
Lukas Jutkiewicz has just become the fifth Burnley player to suffer from cruciate ligament injury in the past 18 months. Tyrone Mings at Bournemouth and Nouha Dicko at Wolves are two other players to suffer anterior cruciate ligament injuries injury this season.
Speaking from experience
I suffered the same injury in 2008 and I was out for nine months. ACL surgery is not now considered to be a career-threatening injury like it was maybe 20 or 30 years ago, but I have seen several players in the past not being able to be the same player post-injury as they were before.
The majority of the time it is down to how hard you are prepared to work on your rehab, but there are occasions when the hardest worker cannot overcome the circumstances put in front of them.
I also missed a year of football from August 2012 through a groin injury, so I have had two experiences of suffering long-term injuries.
Mind over matter
The physical side of the injury can be monitored and altered and with expert help and the correct work ethic, the chances are these days that you can overcome most injuries.
The mental side of the injury is often the toughest part to deal with. I have found that the only way to deal with it is for a complete change in your state of mind.
You have to stop thinking like a footballer, about results and teams and opposition. You have to immerse yourself in your rehabilitation exercises and almost become a full-time gym junkie.
The two times that I spent a while out of action I almost became addicted to the gym and the workouts that I did.
So much so that I had to stop completely when I came back from my ACL because I had put on too much bulk and felt a bit heavy. You have to continue to get your buzz from somewhere and that was where I found mine.
Watching the lads preparing for the game is tough and attending the matches is horrible. Your close mates are heading out to fight for three points and all you can do to help is wish them good luck.
Most of the lads playing in the Championship and above will have two or three years remaining on their contracts, so the immediate worries about money and a contract won't be as strong as players in League One or League Two. But they will still be there.
I wish the lads mentioned all the best in their recoveries and hope to see them back out on the pitch as soon as possible.