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George's Marvellous Medicine

PUBLISHED

09:00 16th August 2013

Elokobi available for City return

Such is the mentality of George Elokobi, that he views a potential return to Bristol City tomorrow with more happy memories than sad.

And that’s despite it being just under a year since a loan spell with the Robins was cut painfully short just 42 minutes into the Cameroon-born defender’s debut against Leeds at Ashton Gate.

The popular 27-year-old both fractured and dislocated his ankle in fairly horrific style, but, in typically defiant fashion, returned to action for Wolves on the final day of last season against Brighton.

Having missed the last fortnight with a slight groin injury picked up against Preston on the opening day, Elokobi is now hoping to be back among the travelling party in the hope of making the matchday squad and having the chance to thank a few people as Wolves take on City come 3pm tomorrow.

“I may have got injured at Bristol City but it is still a place which has more good memories than bad,” says Elokobi.

“I was trying to do a job for Bristol City at the time, to try and play well for them and get some points on the board until the loan spell had finished.

“Unfortunately that loan spell only lasted for about three days and 42 minutes of the game against Leeds.

“But even with that I still feel more positive than negative.

“They made me feel so welcome, everyone including the management, players and groundstaff.

“I was so surprised at the reception I got from the fans from when I started the game and after I was injured.

“Because of that they are always going to be in my heart and I would like to see Bristol City do well – apart from tomorrow!
“When we played in March we both needed the points and it was us that won but unfortunately we both got relegated.

“Now we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow and who gets the win.”

Elokobi continues:  “I don’t have any bad feelings going back to Bristol City and I know the gaffer (Sean O’Driscoll) very well from my time at Nottingham Forest.

“I’ll also know the medical staff who were great in putting  my ankle back into place.

“They looked after me really well even after I’d gone to the hospital to check on me and after my operation and that meant a lot to me.

“They kept in touch and were asking about my wellbeing as I set about my recovery  and asking if it was going according to plan.

“The fans supported me throughout as well and were great in sending me messages on Twitter finding out when I would be back playing again.

“It will be good to go back and hopefully thank the fans with a round of applause and show them that I really appreciated their support.”

Elokobi came off the bench on the opening day at Deepdale to replace the injured Richard Stearman, before then going off himself with the groin injury which has quickly cleared up.

Viewing the setback as a brief by-product of the longer term injury, Elokobi is focusing on the positives of a hard-working pre-season providing the foundation for the Sky Bet League One campaign ahead.

He adds:  “When you suffer a long term injury sometimes it takes the body a bit of time to adjust to playing regularly.

“The most important thing for me was to come through pre-season and I did that, coming through all the sessions and getting a lot of minutes under my belt.

“It got me in a very good place and then I had a little setback in the game against Preston.

“We’ve got fantastic medical staff here who helped me through and a couple of weeks later I’m back and hopefully involved with the squad for Bristol City, ready to kick on.

“I feel I’ve got a lot to contribute this season.

“I missed a lot of football last year and am now just itching to get back out there to the best form that I can.

“In pre-season I got five games under my belt and my first 90 minutes against Chesterfield which gave me a really positive mindset going into the new season.

“It’s never nice when you’re out for so long and you begin to wonder whether you can last 90 minutes of a game with the injury I suffered.

“I worked really hard with the physios to get myself back and where I am now, along with the support of the fans, staff and my team-mates here.

“That has made it much easier to get on with my career.

“I am in the last year of my contract here and I want to help the club as much as I can and play some football.”

It was at the end of his return on the final day at Brighton that Elokobi filled up with emotion as he thanked the travelling Wolves fans who had shown such fortitude in the wake of such crushing disappointment.

Partly his own sadness at Wolves’ predicament, and partly perhaps a mental release following his second return from a career-threatening injury, Elokobi has headed into the new campaign with a personal point to prove.

With 95 Wolves appearances under his belt, including many in the Barclays Premier League not to mention a couple of goals against Manchester United, Elokobi still believes he has more to offer as he bids to play a part in Kenny Jackett’s new Molineux era.

“It meant a lot for me to get back at Brighton,” he recalls.

“I feel that I haven’t really played for this club the way I would have wanted to.

“There have been different reasons and circumstances and I was on loan at Nottingham Forest when I could have been here helping the club.

“But that wasn’t to be, and then last season I suffered a career threatening injury.

“I tried to get back before the end of the season to help the boys but unfortunately it was too late.

“You could tell from the emotions I had at the end of the game what it meant and how disappointed I was.

“I have got so much respect for the club and the fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers – they have always supported me.

“My job now is to help this club progress in the right direction and to do that I will give 100 per cent every single time I play.”

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