It’s been over 10 months since Ivan Ramis pulled on the blue and white of Wigan Athletic for the first team after a late injury in January 2013 that turned his 2012/13 campaign on its head.
Just months after returning from one injury, Ramis damaged knee ligaments when he stretched for the ball in the final moments of a game against Fulham at Craven Cottage and has been recovering ever since.
Sixteen days ago Ramis donned his boots for 90 minutes for the first time since the injury when he featured in a Development Squad friendly against Fleetwood Town.
The 29-year-old completed a second consecutive 90 minutes in a 4-1 away victory against Tranmere Rovers and last Tuesday he made it three in a row in a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers.
Following today’s training session at Christopher Park, Ramis said he’s now ready to compete for a first team place:
“I feel very strong now after my recovery and the tough work I’ve been through.
“After the three games I’ve played with the Development Squad I feel that I’m ready to step up to compete for a first team place.
“Now it’s up to the gaffer whether I can start playing, but it’s also down to me to carry on working hard.”
Focussing on the injury and the process to find his way back to fitness Ramis said:
“The injury was very frustrating because it was at a time when I thought I was doing very well.
“There have been bad moments over the 10 months that I’ve been out, but that is to be expected as a footballer and I’ve had to remain positive mentally to get me to this stage.”
The former Real Mallorca man said he feels no change in his game and believes he’s coming backjust as strong as before.
“I’ve enjoyed the last few months because I’ve been in full training and after so long out it’s just been great to be back on the football pitch.
“I feel just as strong as I did before the injury which makes me feel very good and I’m ready now.”
Remaining happy and confident is something Ramis pointed out as being a major positive in his fight for fitness, he added:
“I like to play with a smile on my face all the time and it has been good playing with the younger players and helping to guide them through matches, but now it’s about making myself available to help the first team.
“I like to have a laugh and a joke around the training ground so a lot of people see me with a smile on my face and mentally that is what has helped me through the injury.
“I’m a happy person as anybody who knows me can see, but I have a serious side too and that’s what I’m hoping to prove on the pitch.”
Happy with his return, the 29-year-old admitted that the injury did play on his mind before he stepped out onto the pitch against Fleetwood at the start of this month:
“Nobody wants to think about injuries when their coming back, but it was hard not to think about it because it’s been a tough road.
“After such a long period of injury there was a part of my mind that was worried about getting injured again in my first game back, but I felt very good in the game against Fleetwood and from there I’ve only got stronger.
“Playing in the three games has been very good for my progression because they have helped with my match fitness and I’ve enjoyed the performances as well.”
Realising the challenge ahead of him Ramis finished by saying:
“The defence has been very impressive this season and I know it won’t be easy to get back into the team, but I’m going to do everything I can do to achieve that.
“I’ve battled to get back from injury so I’m willing to battle for a place in the gaffer’s team.”