Dunfermline Athletic

Best way to return

Thursday, 19th Jan 2023

Kevin O’Hara certain Pars fourth was his

Most times for Kevin O’Hara it is the goal and the result that are the most important things and the fourth to be scored in a 4-0 victory could be academic. However when you have been sidelined for 19 weeks to score on your return is a milestone that makes the route back from injury worth all the effort.

On Saturday Kevin was certainly not going to give way to any suggestion that the goal was not his. Fellow sub Robbie Mahon set up the goal and when keeper Tom Ritchie could not hold on to the on loan Motherwell man’s attempt, Kevin was well placed to make sure at the far post. He said:—

“It was definitely my goal. Robbie did well to get to the byeline. The gaffer asked for a lot of crosses into the box so once I saw that he had got past his man I just got close to the goal. It was just a yard tap in but I’ll take them. These are the ones we love, any goal counts but they are the good ones when you don’t really have to think about it, you just tap them in and away and celebrate.”

Apparently Robbie Mahon was far from disappointed about being denied his first senior goal and Kevin added:-

“We joked about it at half time when we were warming up, he is delighted for me. It was good to get on the pitch and obviously I’m delighted to get the goal as well.

It was a great moment and “probably the best way” to make his return added Kevin:-

“I think scoring that goal was worth the last four or five months of rehab and the hard time that I went through. I will put that behind me now, I’m feeling fit and that goal is going to give me confidence going into the next couple of games.”

Kevin last played at the start of September at Palmerston Park but a scan revealed that he had torn his posterior cruciate ligament which is the ligament at the back of your knee. As a result the 24 year old was in the knee brace for 10 weeks.

“It happened against Airdrie, it was just a slide tackle and a bang on the knee. It just swelled up with the impact, I trained and played against Queen of the South the following week. It felt fine and there was just a wee bit of pain in it but half way through training that week I said to the manager that my knee was still sore. I went for a scan and it came came as a scare which I was gutted about because I did think that it was so bad. It was a bit of a shock.”

He has had to build up up to match fitness and Kevin claimed that he is feeling good now despite the lengthy lay off:-

“I have still got get a bit of match fitness to get into but that will come as the games come. Training every day will get me fitter as well.

“That is the first bad injury that I have really sustained so obviously it was a tough period to be honest. There were worse days than others but Rory (Monks) the physio was great with me. He kept me going every day with my programme. Also the boys who were injured who were in the gym - Lewis McCann, Paul Allan and Miller Fenton - they were good. It was tough but I just need to put it behind me now and kick on.

“You don’t want anybody to be injured but I’m really close with those three so it did help. We helped each other and we just have Paul (Allan) to come back now. Hopefully he should be back soon and that means that we will have a full squad again.

“It is tough coming to games on a Saturday when you are not playing. Watching from the stand and the boys are doing well, your mates scoring goals, keeping clean sheets and winning in big games. It is tough that way but I’m delighted that the boys have done that and put us in a right good position.

“I just want to be playing and that’s why you play football. You want to play in every game no matter how big a game it is. It has been tough watching but I’m delighted to be back.

“I can’t wait for the games to come up. We have a lot of games coming up really soon so as I say I need to go into training, work hard every day and prove to the manager that I am ready to go.”

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