Smithy On Comeback Trail

Last updated : 29 January 2002 By Jonathan Hall

Now, Paul Smith has resumed light training and according to Club Physio, Keith Oakes, is “coming along very well”. He also added that the surgeons do not wish to see him again, indicating that the popular City winger is on the road to recovery.

The player spoke about the pain the injury was causing him, after he sustained a serious back injury during pre-season. Imps defender, Richard Logan, suffered a similar injury to his back. Paul said, “The injury was caused by a damaged disc pressing into my sciatic nerve. It was causing bolting pains right down to my calf and making it impossible for me to do anything.”

“In the end, I went into hospital in Sheffield for an operation.” The surgeons kept Smith in hospital for around one week due to the severity of the problem. Subsequently, the player returned home to begin a rigid three-month rehabilitation programme.

Smith explains, “It wasn't until early November that I was able to start doing some exercise. I started swimming twice a week and have been building things up since then.” As part of his rehab, Smith visited Lilleshall for a week, before returning home to do “some jogging, cycling and some ball work in the afternoons.” It seems Paul Smith is far more mobile than before.

‘Smudger' remains in an optimistic mood for the future - “My target is to try to get a couple of games in before the end of the season even if they are only reserve games.”

Imps boss Alan Buckley is more than pleased with his progress, and admits that having Smith available before the end of the season would be beneficial to the side. "We are delighted with Smudger's progress," admitted Buckley. "The fact he is that bit younger than Richard Logan has enabled him to make a quicker recovery and if he can get back in contention before the end of the season it will be a huge bonus for us."

Planet Imp will keep you informed on Paul's progress on his road to recovery. E-mail - to wish him a speedy recovery.