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Wednesday, 03 June 2009 22:35

Forgotten man Vaz Te looking forward after career-threatening injury

Portuguese hoping for August return

vaz teBolton Wanderers winger Ricardo Vaz Te says he hopes his injury nightmare is behind him, and has set his sights in impressing the Rebook Stadium faithful next season.

The 22-year-old made just two substitute appearances last season and has played less than three hours of first-team football in the last two years, as a potentially career-ending knee injury forced for ex-Farense man to undergo pioneering micro fracture surgery.

“The diagnoses of my injuries were career-ending, which is very scary at my age but it has been addressed well,” said Vaz Te, who is now training six days per week with the club‘s physio.

“To look forward to the future is great because it’s quite bright now. It’s like I have been in the dark for two years and the sun has just started shining. It’s helped me keep the faith and hopefully I can come back and change people’s minds about me.

“For two years people have been asking “Where is Vaz Te? Is he on loan? That’s disappointing. They don’t really know what has been going on. Perhaps they think I’m not good enough, or that I have gone big time, or that I’m a different player than I was three or four years ago in the Sam Allardyce era.

“That’s not the case — I have just been unlucky with injuries and I have to deal with that. Everyone is out enjoying their summer now but I am enjoying it here. It has been a while since I did this kind of running and training.

“If it gets me back playing, and for the fans to see that I am not dead, I am still here, then I will try my best. Hopefully they will love me more than before.”

Although keen to avoid setting himself a strict date for return, Vaz Te was originally pencilled in for a return in August for the start of the new Premiership season. However, the Portuguese under-21 international is not ruling out being fit for the start of pre-season next month.

“If I get back for the start of pre-season I’d be delighted but I am trying not to put a time on my recovery. That is what I did wrong before, so I am trying to stick to the plan, which is nine months — in August.

“If I need a bit of extra time, I will take it. People will appreciate it because I won’t be injured again in three months, which makes people start doubting me, as they are doing right now.

“I am only concerned with getting fit and when I do, I can get their love back.”

By Sean Gillen

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