Light at the end of the tunnel for O'Brien
Published 19/07/2010 | 12:40
Bolton defender Joey O'Brien hopes to put his injury nightmare behind him after making his first appearance for 21 months at the weekend.
O'Brien played the entire second half as Wanderers defeated Charleston Battery 2-0 on Saturday as part of their pre-season tour of North America.
The Irishman has been out of action since October 2008 with knee problems which had brought his career into doubt, but he was handed a contract extension by Bolton while on the sidelines last season and O'Brien is now looking to make up for lost time.
"I've had a few ops, and people have doubted my chances of playing again," O'Brien told the Bolton News.
"Then I came across Andy Williams and he's saved my career. I did rehabilitation with Bill Knowles over in America, so it's been my club, my family and my faith that kept me going throughout the whole thing.
"There is still a long way to go. It's only 45 minutes in a pre-season friendly against opposition that doesn't really come up to English standard but I have been back training for a while and the knee is feeling good.
"It has been a very hard time over the last couple of years. Things have also happened in my personal life, like my father passing away, and he had been amazing for me throughout, like my mum.
"There have been some really bad, bad times but hopefully they are over and done with now and I can get back playing again."