Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose has targeted the trip to Northampton Town on Saturday, 13th April for a potential comeback from his lay-off after suffering a double break of his jaw.
Last season’s top scorer also severed an artery and lost a tooth and a lot of blood in a horrific collision at Newport County six weeks ago in which he found himself sandwiched between two opponents in a freak accident and needed metal plates inserted into his jawbone.
But Rose is now feeling much better and said: “I am hoping to be back in three weeks.
“I have an appointment on Monday, 8th April and if the surgeon says it’s all good and he is happy with what’s happened I should hopefully be back for the game at Northampton the following week I hope.”
Rose knows that at some stage he will take a knock to the head or even the jaw and he has to be prepared.
“It will be more a mental thing than a physical thing,” he admitted.
“I go up for a lot of headers. So I have just got to look after myself really and take it step by step.
“Obviously I will get the confidence with doing a few headers in training and hopefully take it into a game. I am sure once the first header comes around then I will be fine after that.
“I can’t really change my game just because of this injury otherwise I won’t be playing.”
Rose can vividly remember the awful moment he was caught in the sandwich.
“It was just from a goalkick really,” he said.
“I can remember Smudge (Jordan Smith) , our goalkeeper, just kicked it and, as I have done for hundreds and hundreds of goalkicks here at Mansfield, I have just gone up for a header.
“But, unfortunately, I was just caught between two players.
“It was a pure accident. The boys at Newport texted me after the game which was really nice of them. It was just a collision.
“I knew straight away the jaw had cracked. I could hear it as soon as I went down.
“It was unfortunate but I have got away with it and I should be back soon hopefully.”
He added: “I wasn’t knocked out. I can remember most of it to be honest.
“I can remember the jaw cracking, the blood coming out, then getting onto my feet.
“I wasn’t in the best place in the physio’s room after, but I have got through it. I’ve not got a scar on my face so I am quite lucky to be fair.
“I am having to build my weight back up as I lost a lot after the injury and trying to eat anything was a struggle.
“But it now feels good. It’s better than what it was. I have been doing a lot of work outside and now I feel like I am getting back into training and the swing of things.”
Rose is trying to maintain his fitness but he still not allowed any physical contact with other players so is feeling a little isolated.
“I am outside with Beth (Wilcockson, sports scientist) trying to replicate the training the boys do, but I have got to do it on my own,” he said.
“It’s grim. It’s lonely not being with the boys training day in, day out.
“But it’s got to be done. I’ve got to keep my fitness as I am hoping to be back before the end of the season.”