Friday 9th February 2018

IT’S been nearly seven months of pain, frustration and hard work.

But once again, Grant Gallagher is on the move.

The Dumbarton midfielder returned to full training last night, ending a long wait after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Partick Thistle in pre-season.

That was after he’d not long come back from an ankle injury which ended his 2016/17 season in September 2016.

He’s still not played competitively since then, and won’t do for a few weeks yet.

However, the process of getting him off the sidelines and back on to the pitch is now in full motion.

And speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Grant admitted: “It was a very, very good feeling.

“It’s been a very long time out of action – possibly the longest any footballer can have. Being a cruciate injury meant it was a longer wait, but I felt very good last night.

“I’ve been building up the last few weeks, aiming towards a full session, and I’ve not been too bad. Twisting and turning is the way football is and I’ve had a hamstring graft. It’s been a bit tight but it’s all normal and hopefully things will settle.

“I only spoke to the surgeon last week and he’s been telling me not to risk things too early. He put it into a great context – you can’t beat biology with injuries. I may feel OK when in fact it is still healing.

“So I couldn’t give you a date for when I’ll be back playing, but if I keep going as I am, I’ll hopefully be able to play a part before the end of the season. I’d hate to come back and then go back to square one again.

“It’s been difficult for me with how the season has gone. We’re second bottom of the league at the moment but we’ve got two cup campaigns going fantastically.

“There are also spaces on the bench, as we have depleted numbers with players being cup-tied. I’d have liked to have been able to help the team with that, and I hope I can help them in the league.

“But the club has been brilliant with me. Once I had the injury in the last game of pre-season it got sorted out quickly, with the surgeon (Brian Rooney) being appointed. I’ve been very happy with him, and the work of the physio (Kirsten Murray) and her team.

© Fullarton Photos 2018

“It’s taken a bit of patience, but I’ve been with the physio team a lot of the time and they’ve played a massive part.”

After the cup double header – possibly triple header – with Morton and The New Saints, Dumbarton face a huge run of league fixtures.

Their league opponents for the next month are all in or around the bottom half, and they are followed by back-to-back clashes with bottom side Brechin.

With six points now the gap between Sons and a position of safety, Grant admits the coming league outings will be vital.

But despite the growing deficit to eighth-placed Falkirk, he’s far from giving up hope on his team-mates’ behalf.

And he hopes that a second cup quarter final of the season can be reached tomorrow when Sons travel to Greenock.

He added: “We’re 100 per cent confident about the league. In the last few seasons it’s been the same – us and a few teams at the bottom, and there are still teams who could get dragged into it.

“The run we have coming up is massive now. The games are going to come quickly as well, with a lot of fixtures in midweek, and we need to be getting points on the board early.

“The league is still the main thing for us. The cup is a good sidetrack but we have to remain focused on the Championship.

“I think we’ve got a brilliant chance tomorrow. It’s a team from our league who we’re used to the likes of every Saturday, and we feel confident we can do it.”

Andy Galloway

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