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SHAUN MacDONALD EXCLUSIVE: “THE MESSAGES OF SUPPORT TOOK MY MIND OFF THE PAIN AND THE INJURY”

PUBLISHED

16:49 23rd May 2017

by Ashley Houghton

Midfielder sits down for interview with Latics PlayerHD as he begins recovery from leg break at Reading in the penultimate match of the 2016-17 campaign.

  • Shaun MacDonald exclusive interview on broken leg and recovery.
  • Midfielder says the support he has received has been fantastic.
  • Welsh international looking to be back on the field for Latics in six months.
He’s one of the most likeable characters in the game and thus the heavy flow of messages to the mailbox of Shaun MacDonald following his leg break at Reading in April was hardly surprising.

And that support for the Welsh international in the hours after his injury was crucial in keeping him positive ahead of a big summer in his life.

Shaun will marry fiancée Jordan this summer and he says it’s been a focus to the big day and the overwhelming number of messages of support that have kept him strong in a difficult period.

“I have tried to be positive about it all,” MacDonald told Latics PlayerHD. “I am one of those people who believes in not dwelling on the past, looking ahead and taking things as well as I can.

“If I am being honest the messages over the first 48 hours actually took my mind off the pain and the actual break. Not just the personal messages to my phone but also on social media and everyone I have met and know – people I haven’t seen or spoken to for years – have been in touch and their positivity and encouragement has pushed me on to be confident enough to get back as soon as possible.

“When I broke my leg, you can speak to anyone at the club and they will tell you my first concern was will I be walking by the time of the wedding – they were my first words.

“I was supposed to be going on my stag today [Thursday] and having to change all those plans that I have had and have been looking forward to for so long has been a difficult part of the injury.

“It’s been a tough season physically and mentally and for me personally I have played 42 games which is physically good but it’s been my first 42 games in a long time. Mentally it’s been tough too, the position we have found ourselves in over the last few months with big pressure games every week to try and get out of the position we were in.

“So I was looking forward to the summer and trying to switch off and enjoy it with friends and family. I have to be realistic, though, now it’s happened, and I have a great wife-to-be, who has supported me brilliantly and a great family and friends too.”

Looking back on the incident itself, MacDonald admirably wanted to stress he has no ill-feeling towards Reading’s George Evans – the player the former Swansea and AFC Bournemouth man collided with at the Madejski Stadium – and instead wishes the Royals and Evans all the best in their play-off final with Huddersfield Town later this month.

“I remember it all pretty clearly,” he said. “I went in for a hard tackle in a game that we knew we would have a chance to keep our survival hopes alive, depending on other results. 

“The tackle was there to be won; I have gone in hard, he has gone in hard, and unfortunately, I have come off worst. I hold no blame to George Evans, he messaged me straight after the game and that message went a long way and I hope him and Reading go up through the play-off final.”

As for his recovery process, MacDonald is looking to make it sooner rather than later that he wears a Latics shirt again.

“It’s quite basic at the moment for me,” he continued. “Over the last two-and-a-half weeks I have been doing a lot of icing. I am lucky enough to be out of a cast so I can do some strengthening stuff but it’s basic stretches and tenses of certain muscles that aren’t working.

“I asked the question to the surgeon and Russ [Hitchen] here and they say six to nine months but for me I am thinking about the six rather than the nine.

“I will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible.”

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