Coventry City defender James McPake has been saying how he feared that his career was over.
Speaking to the CT's Andy Turner, the Scot said: “I really feared my career could be over because it wasn’t just week after week, it was month after month and I wasn’t feeling any better.
“I had three broken bones in my back, a muscle tear at the same time and it never healed so they had to go in and fix it.
“So having hoped it would be OK I finally got my operation in May and, to be honest, it was a horrible time because there were periods when I thought I would never get back.
"I have had bad injuries before but that was definitely the worst.
“Even in July after the op I still wasn’t right. Surgically, they said everything went well and everything was fine so I think there was a big mental barrier and I had to keep plugging away.
“And now it’s just nice to get out on the pitch in front of a crowd again because it has been a long time.
“My last proper game was against Ipswich on January 1st. I played a few days later but not for long and then I played against Bury at the start of the season but I wasn’t really fit, so Doncaster last week was my first real game and hopefully I can kick on now.
“This is where you get your real fitness and although I felt OK against Donny I blew up a bit with ten minutes to go, but I had no other option to keep going.
“The big test was always going to be getting through a few first team games and winning a few headers and taking a few bangs.
"But it’s all forgotten about now and it feels a lot sweeter after getting through a couple of games.”
He added: “This is the first time I have felt all right.