Date:Tuesday February 13 2007
'To have everything you have worked for taken away from you is difficult to come to terms with. But I will keep working hard and keep positive and I know my chance will come again.'
'It was different I guess because it was caused by wear and tear, not one specific incident. It was after we lost at Arsenal I realised I needed something to be done.
'There was no sudden impact, it was just that my knee was being battered around a bit. I was feeling niggles but taking painkillers, but after Arsenal it blew up and we went to see the doctor.
'They scanned it and couldn't see anything so I let it settle down and started training again, but when it blew up again the surgeon decided to open it up and see what was going on in there.
'He went in with a camera and moved a bit of tissue and there was more tissue flapping away and he had to cut that and then drill holes into the side of my knee to make it bleed, so when it forms back into tissue it goes back to normal.
'It was a hell of a shock, because when I woke up from the operation I thought they tell me I'd be out for six weeks or so, not six months. I was taken aback, to say the least.
I'd say it was the most disappointing thing that's happened to me in football, but you have to stay positive and get on with it.
'I thought to myself, 'it's not like he telling me I've got cancer or AIDS', you know, some people get much worse news - it's always been repairable and I've always been positive.'
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
'You have to let the healing process take place, you cannot rush things like this because there is always a risk you go too soon and don't give it chance to recover properly.
'After two months I was able to walk again, then I had a scan and they said my knee was one of the best they'd seen, so I'm back in light training now, doing bike work, swimming and weights.
'I've got a weight plan and a gym plan and it's been going really well for a couple of weeks.
'I've got to go and see the surgeon again in six weeks' time and if everything is ok he will let me start full training again, which takes me up to the end of March.
'There's a chance I'll be there for the end of the season, if it all goes well, touch wood. But I want to be right for the long term.'
WATCHING FROM THE SIDELINES
'I'm a terrible watcher, ask anyone. I must admit, it's hard to have to watch your team and be unable to contribute anything on the pitch.
'After the season I had last year, just as I was starting to find my feet in the Premiership, it's hard to miss out on so much.
'I've been to every home game but I missed a lot of away games because I was on crutches and couldn't travel, but I've been at Vicarage Road trying to gee up the boys.
'Everyone is still positive and the gaffer is trying his best to make things happen.
'I've taken the opportunity to get involved in my coaching badges too, I thought I'd try and do as much as possible while I had the time and I've nearly finished Level 2.
'I was always going to do it, it's great that the PFA give us the chance to do these courses because they cost a lot of money.
'We are very privileged as footballers to have the opportunity to do this sort of work and I'm keen to learn about coaching.'
'The gaffer will tell you himself that he is learning all the time. He's been in a difficult position before, when he took over and Watford were near the bottom of the Championship.
'But he sees this as more of a long-term plan for the club and he wants to make Watford a top-10 Premiership outfit by 2010.
'The sale of Ashley Young raised money and the gaffer's been criticised for not bringing in recognisable Premiership stars, but he doesn't want to go and spend recklessly'
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Slavisa: 'We Lacked Imagination And Desire' (Saturday February 21 2015)
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