Captain Sam Collins grateful for fitness after season-ending scare

Sam Collins gets treatment from James Haycock. Picture by FRANK REID
Sam Collins gets treatment from James Haycock. Picture by FRANK REID
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SAM Collins is grateful for every minute of football right now – for the Hartlepool United skipper feared his season was over, writes CRAIG HOPE.

The 34-year-old was struck down with a foot injury during the New Year’s Eve defeat at Sheffield United, hobbling from the action minus his boot and sock and in obvious discomfort.

It was first thought Collins had broken a metatarsal in his foot, potentially ruling him out for the bulk of remaining campaign.

But when X-rays showed no fracture and scans no serious ligament damage, the defender put all of his efforts into making as speedy a return as possible.

Within a week he was back to lead Neale Cooper’s men to their first home victory in three-and-a-half months during the 2-0 win over Rochdale.

And Collins was again at the heart of the back line for the weekend stalemate at Exeter City.

That is why he told SportMail of his relief today following the news earlier in the month that he would not be sidelined for a prolonged period.

“I feared I’d broken my foot when I came off at Sheff United because it was a mess,” he admitted.

“I was on crutches for a few days after and only trained for half an hour before the Rochdale game.

“Thursday of last week was the first day I’d trained properly.

“Thankfully, the physios have worked wonders and it’s a massive relief.

“I could have been out for three months, so you’re pretty much saying the majority of the season is over – and that would have been a nightmare.”

FULL STORY IN TUESDAY’S MAIL ...