Mansfield Town striker Jordan Graham can come back from his cartilage injury better, strong and with a deeper appreciation of his chosen profession.
That is the view of manager David Flitcroft who said he had been trying to turn the negative of injury into a positive for the youngster, who has been on the fringes of the first team all season.
“Jordan had an operation on his cartilage. It was worse than we thought,” said Flitcroft.
“We first thought he’d be about a month but he’s probably going to be our for three or four months, without putting a definitive time on it. But his season is over.
“He was breaking in and getting nearer and nearer. He’d been in every squad so far.
“But I have spoken to him about becoming stronger from the experience. He’s got everything in front of him.
“It now gives him chance to dedicate his life to the gym and his body to get himself fit, lean and strong for when he does come back.”
He added: “I told him that when you are in it every day you can sometimes take it all for granted. But when you are out of it you understand what you are missing.
“Through the summer programme Jordan will come back and next season we will see a really defined person.
“Like any bad moment in your life – if you get it right with good support around you, you can turn it into a positive. That’s certainly what we are trying to do with Jordan.”
Graham joins a lengthening injury list of which Flitcroft said: “We have gone from a clean bill of health to some medium and long term injuries.
“Craig (Davies) is in a boot. It was a bigger operation than we first anticipated. He is doing his fitness and conditioning work but he’s limited in what he can and can’t do.
“Gibbo (Lewis Gibbens) has dislocated his shoulder and we have got to see the surgeon to decide whether to pin it. Do they operate on it or does it go back in naturally?
“But Hayden (White) is mobile and walking after his operation.
“He is just in that tentative stage in getting some confidence in the break.”