There is probably nothing worse for a new signing than to pick up an injury in his first game for his new club – and indeed also miss the chance to say a few farewells to his old one as a result.
But amid the “bitter disappointment” for Tommy Rowe ahead of tonight’s friendly at Peterborough comes the realisation that things could have been a whole lot worse.
The hairline fracture to his fifth metatarsal picked up from a challenge in that debut at Cheltenham is likely to prompt a three to four week absence so that if Rowe isn’t available for the opening day of the season against Norwich, he certainly shouldn’t be far away.
Had the injury not been detected however, the versatile defender/midfielder may well have played on and ended up doing himself far more damage and sustaining a complete fracture which would have spelt months on the sidelines.
“It was my first game for Wolves and I was enjoying it,” says Rowe.
“Pre-season games are all about fitness and it was good to get back out there but then I just got caught with a kick.
“Although I carried on in the game it didn’t feel right and I went to see Phil (Hayward) after.
“So I went for an X-ray and an MRI scan and they found a hairline fracture.
“It was then a case of letting it rest and now allowing me to recover.
“It was disappointing obviously but I feel fortunate in that the injury was picked up.
“There is the possibility of being back in a couple of weeks rather than maybe a couple of months which might have been the case if I had maybe carried on and the medical staff hadn’t stepped in.
“Sometimes you play on and it doesn’t get worse but if it had and it had turned into a full fracture I’d have been in trouble.
“As things stand I’ve got a chance of being ready for the first week of the season and that’s much better than it could have been.”
The 25-year-old, one of two summer signings for Wolves, joined from tonight’s friendly opponents and is understandably disappointed at not turning out at London Road tonight.
However, he may yet manage to make the game in an observational capacity, depending on the schedule put in place to keep him as fit as possible while the injury heals.
“Nobody ever likes to be injured and for me I was bitterly disappointed because I wanted to impress and then play the next game as well,” Rowe adds.
“But we’ve been able to maintain my general fitness and the facilities here offer the opportunity to do that.
“I was quickly able to get my head around it and realise that I will be able to keep up a good level of fitness.
“Initially I can do swimming and cycling and make sure I can carry on working hard before stepping things up over the next couple of weeks.
“I do like to watch the games when I’m not playing so if I’ve done my rehab in time then maybe I will still be able to get to the game.
“I’m very disappointed not to be going back and playing in it really but luckily for me the injury was found at the right time and I can look forward to hopefully all of the season rather than maybe be thinking about being out for months.”
When he is back and available, Rowe will then aim to quickly stake his claims for a first team place in a squad already looking both settled and confident this pre-season.
He adds: “If you’re not in the squad at the start of the season it is for a reason and then it’s a case of pushing the lads who are in the team to play well to keep their shirts.
“If I can get back right and the lads are looking over their shoulders then that is good competition and will help get the best out of the squad.
“For me, I will be ready to give it a real go when I get back.”