Boro defender Ben Chorley speaks about his journey back from long-term injury.
For Ben Chorley it’s been a difficult 8 months. He’s barely kicked a football since the 2nd of March - a 2-0 defeat at home to Colchester - his last game for the club before Swindon on Tuesday.
His time at Stevenage has been plagued with injury problems. After hurting his thigh early this year it’s been one thing after another for the centre half but he’s full of positivity now after playing 90 minutes against Swindon.
“It’s something that I’ve never been through before, I've never had an operation, never really had an injury so it’s been tough but touch-wood I’m through the other side now and I’ve got a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.
“I like to think I’m very strong psychologically. Never at any point did I doubt myself.
“It just felt like it was one after the other. I only really had one injury to do with my thigh and once I came back that let me down. Then you get these little niggles; calf strains, a thigh strain, groin strain and it’s never ending. You think; ‘how can I do any more rehab than what I’m already doing?’”
Ben talked in detail about how he got over his problems which included working on a group of muscles that he previously neglected.
“At 30 years of age I felt that I pretty much knew how to get myself right and fit. I was going round-the-houses with it in the end. I had to take a step back and strengthen pretty much every muscle in the gym. I had to get everything really compact and strong.
“A double hernia is straight down the core of your body and for 10/11 years of playing week in and week out, you just drift in and out from training sessions to games and there’s specific muscles you don’t really work on, deep in your core and groin.
“Maybe that came back to haunt me. For someone coming up now I’d definitely tell them that the core and the new medical side is massive."
Despite putting in a good performance against Swindon, Ben missed a penalty in the shoot-out but has no regrets over his decision.
“People have to step up and take penalties and I’m never one to shy away. I’ve taken penalties at every club I’ve been at so I was more than confident.
“Maybe it was the tired body, I don’t know. I decided to put my foot through it and it didn’t come off.
“That was the negative though; the positive side is that it’s great to be back as it’s been obviously a very long time but I feel really good now. I feel like I’m in my prime and I really want to crack on now.”