Stevenage midfielder back after long-term injury

Dean Parrett scores Stevenage's first goal

Dean Parrett scores Stevenage's first goal - Credit: Archant

Dean Parrett is pleased to have returned to the thick of the action in Sky Bet League 2

Dean Parrett has mixed feelings about the timing of the cruciate ligament injury that kept him on the sidelines for six months before his return to action in Saturday’s draw at Oxford United.

His despair over the injury is a given – it is the longest lay-off the 22-year-old has had in his career to date – and the midfielder, speaking to the Comet this week, has spoken of how the injury came at a time when his Boro career was just about taking off.

Yet with the injury coming in March, with much of the recovery over the summer, Parrett’s spell on the sidelines has seen him miss just 20 matches in total while it has also given him time to think in more detail about his role in the team.

“I was just starting to get some form, I’d had a couple of games in a row,” said the former Spurs man.

“It was a bit stop-start for me last season because I didn’t have a pre-season.

“I was just coming in to my own, I had just scored my first goal [in the same match as the injury, a 3-2 defeat to MK Dons] and I felt like I could score a couple more. I felt dangerous.

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“It has been a really difficult time but luckily enough the injury was over the summer so I didn’t have to miss as many games.

“Obviously I didn’t get a summer, but at the same time it kept me busy.

“I worked hard to get back ahead of schedule...they said it was more likely to be Christmas time I’d get back. I worked hard and [coming off the bench] was my reward.

“But I think the injury has made me a lot stronger mentally.

“I’ve watched a lot of football over the time that I’ve been injured and I think that my positioning is actually better now than before because of it.

“I’ve had six months of it, watching from the side. I was itching to get on and it would have been nice to get on in a winning position so I could have eased into it, but it’s also good to be thrown in at the deep end and having to grind out a result like that.

“To be fair I wasn’t supposed to play too long as I was supposed to ease myself back in.

“Obviously [we] picked up a few injuries and the gaffer asked if I could do a bit extra and I said I felt good

“I’ve got to be careful and the gaffer knows he’s going to have to be careful how he uses me. I feel ready now and I’ve needed a few reserve team games to get my fitness up, but I’m feeling really good.”

It is the longest time the midfielder has been out injured, and Parrett says he has been taking things ‘month by month’.

“Injuries that I’ve had before have been maybe a maximum two or three weeks,” Parrett added.

“This was a hard one. But it’s made me a lot stronger mentally.

“Simon Walton did his a few years ago and he was a help. I spoke to him when he came in and he said I should just take my time with it.

“But it was mainly me just taking it month by month instead of looking towards the long term.

“The last three months I didn’t even think about playing, I just thought about strengthening it. By the time I’d strengthened it it was time to run, and the next thing I know I’m playing in reserve team games so it went quicker than I thought it would.”

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