It was a shy and retiring George Elokobi who checked back in to Compton this week to set off on the long rehabilitation process following the badly broken and dislocated ankle suffered in the first game of his loan spell at Bristol City.
O-k then he wasn’t shy and retiring – Elokobi is never shy and retiring.
But his positivity in the wake of yet another serious setback continues to impress and inspire all around him.
Every player and member of staff received the usual booming greeting and warm embrace from the Cameroon-born defender, who is treating what was an horrific injury as just another challenge in his footballing career.
“I have to stay positive,” he says.
“And that’s my mentality, to stay positive.
“It is not the end of the world, it is just a part of football.
“I look at life as a whole and I cherish what I have got.
“Of course I want to play football but if I am going to be injured for a long time there is not much I can do about it.
“There is no point putting my head down and crying and asking ‘why me’?
“I am not feeling sorry for myself and I don’t want people to feel sorry for me either.
“I want people to support me and that’s what I’ve been getting from day one from fans and people around the world.
“I do appreciate that very much especially from all the different fans of different teams.
“The Wolves fans have been amazing in terms of the support I have received on my Twitter page and in the messages I have had sent into the club and I can only thank everybody who has done that.
“The boys here have been fantastic as well in helping me and supporting me and it was good to see them when I got back in this week.
“And it’s not just been Wolves fans who have been supporting me.
“I only played 40 minutes for Bristol City but the fans have been brilliant and some saying they want me to come back when I’m fit again – I’ve got unfinished business there after such a short loan period.
“I’ve had so many messages from Forest fans too and Colchester and Chester City and even the Leeds supporters who were there at the game when it happened.”
Such is Elokobi’s personality that while in agony in the ambulance enroute to the hospital he was asking the ambulance staff scores from games involving those he has played for.
“I was in great pain don’t get me wrong,” he recalls.
“But to block that out I wanted to keep myself busy.
“I kept asking about the Wolves score, Bristol City, even Forest although they were playing on the Sunday!
“When Bristol City conceded the first goal I was cursing at the hospital instead of worrying about my leg!”
Two weeks on from the operation Elokobi is now back and ready for the long road ahead, which echoes the serious knee injury suffered four years ago which could have ended his career.
It didn’t ok course – Elokobi is far too strong for that – and he is using the support of colleagues and supporters as inspiration to make another complete recovery.
“It was an horrific injury but I am on the mend now,” he says.
“I am looking forward now to getting into my rehab and will be taking one day at a time.
“It’s two weeks since the operation, everything is looking well and I’m making progress which will hopefully continue.
“The operation went extremely well and I couldn’t have asked for more and now I’ve got a great medical staff around me.
“I had to have two weeks rest after the operation and have got a sore head from lying on my back and sleeping a lot!
“Now it’s getting a bit more easier with getting about and being a bit more mobile.
“I’ve still got another four weeks to make sure all the swelling is gone and after that there will be a bit of weight bearing and then we will take it from there.
“Already I am feeling I am in a very good place and that will continue.
“It is going to take time but I am going to get fit again, absolutely no doubt.
“I have been through all this before and I think this is slightly less than what happened before – I think it will be piece of cake to get back!
“It’s all about ticking the right boxes and being disciplined and if I do that I won’t be far off coming back in no time.
“In times of sadness I try and stay busy and stay positive because in the long run it can help me.
“If I go the other way I could go downhill and ask myself a million and one questions and I am not one to feel like that.
“I know everyone out there wants me to get fit again and I will be putting all that positive energy into my rehab.”