Hard road back for Stephen

Six weeks after surgery aimed at solving a recurring hip problem, Stephen Hunt is leaving no stone unturned in a bid to regain fitness.

“They said it would be a three to four month recovery period after the operation,” he explains. “The surgeon said it wasn’t as bad as he thought, just a bit of bone shaved off my hip that was causing pain down my groin, my back and into my glut. My groin was the biggest issue because that required an operation before the Euros. That relieved the problem a little bit but it came back over the summer. So it was just a matter of trying to get to the bottom of it and getting it right. You can take injections but some times you have to go the longer route. And that’s what I’ve done. And I’m happy I’ve done it instead of battling away for the next four or five years.

“Basically the first time I could tie my show lace properly in five or six months was about four or five weeks ago. You get used to the pain, though. I still do get some pain in my groin and I have days where I panic a bit, you’re saying to yourself, ‘come on, get better’ and all that. You have to be patient but I’m not the best. I might have a meltdown for about five minutes with the physio and then five minutes later we’re back in the gym.

“But I’m actually ahead of schedule. I’m running now on a machine at 85% of body weight. You might not think that I’m far off but 15% of body weight is quite a lot. I’m probably seven to ten days from going outside and starting jogging again. They had me on bike straight away, they wouldn’t give me any time off after the operation so I’d rather get my six weeks’ base, have five days off, go again until Christmas Eve and then have my first Christmas off in 14 years so I’ll quite enjoy it. Then I’ll look to the New Year to push on and hopefully get back in the Wolves team as quick as I can and hopefully be in contention for Sweden in March.

“ I have kind of reached that stage now where I’ve turned into a bit of a gym freak and turned into an animal where it’s like, no carbs, no potatoes, I haven’t had a slice of bread in I don’t know how long. I have one cheat day a week when I can eat whatever I want and that’s about it. You can talk any diets but basically it’s protein, vegetables as your carbs and that’s it.

“The boys are looking at me like I’m crazy. I’m on 36 tablets a day trying to get ripped to the point that I’m going to be like a little ball of steel hopefully and really dynamic.

“By the middle of January I won’t be too far off (playing again). I will be cautious with the injury until Christmas and then do a mini pre-season. I’ll be doing really hard work in the next six weeks anyway in terms of running but I want to give myself an extra week or two rather than rushing back. Because I won’t come back until I am 100% right.”

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