“The temptation is always to want to get back as quickly as possible, but there are some injuries you can’t push like that and you know you’ll have to be patient,” says No8 Jordan Crane, reflecting on a year-long absence after knee surgery in 2011.
Medical staff have to be ready for anything, from a small cut to a serious injury, and the road back to fitness is adjusted accordingly.
“Every player is different,” says Julie Hayton, head of medical & rehabilitation services. “Their bodies are different, how they respond to treatment can be different, length of recovery can be different. The guys are switched-on, they make it their business to understand their injury. They question you about it too. The most-asked questions are: 1 How bad is it? 2 How long am I going to be out?”
Tom Croft, who is working his way back to full fitness after long-term injury, says: “A positive mindset goes a long way. You have to be positive with the other injured players as well. You see how many we’ve had this season and you’re gutted for every one of them because you know what they’re going through.”
Also in Sunday’s 100-page programme, we celebrate Forward power in our eight-page photo section and we hear from Niall Morris in the 140-character interview. There’s a spotlight on visitors Exeter Chiefs, Academy news, Fan Zone, Aviva Premiership update, news from around Welford Road and all the match stats from the season so far.
And, of course, George Chuter turns the spotlight on events in the news in his Inside Line pages.
The Tigers programme is on sale around the stadium, price £3.