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Fulham defender Tim Ream injury nightmare

last updated Tuesday 09th October 2018, 9:41 AM


Fulham Football Club


Fulham defender Tim Ream
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Fulham defender Tim Ream ended Fulham's promotion winning 2017/18 season on the biggest high of his career, having lifted the Championship play-off trophy in May before being named the club's Player of the Season a month later.

It had been six years since he dropped out of the top flight with Bolton Wanderers and now he was ready to be the core centre back in a new-look Fulham side that was ready to mount an assault on the Premier League having spent £100million over the summer transfer window.

That was, until the week before the season started, where a back injury meant that the 31-year-old may never have got the chance to play football again, let alone in the top flight.

Sitting in the press room at Motspur Park, with the scar of a head clash in pre-season above his left eye still clear for all to see, Ream is coy on the exact details of the injury, mindful of a possible recurrence that could see him ruled out for even longer.

He's had his ups and downs at Craven Cottage, but having been told by head coach, Slavisa Jokanovic, where he stood going into the new season and then having it taken away by an injury that had no return date was a tough pill to take.

He's back now and despite it taking him just six weeks to get back from that injury, Ream admits there are no guarantees and that he needs to stay on top of things to ensure his fitness continues.

He said "It [suffering the injury] was more... it was difficult. It was more personally frustrating than anything else because I knew, based on and pre-season talking with the staff, I knew where I stood.

"There was going to be that and having something taken, not by anyone else, but by my body, was terribly frustrating to know there was nothing I could have done, or did to prevent it and know there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

"It wasn't like a muscle injury and say, okay, four weeks and here we go. I could do a few things but there was nothing I could do to speed up recovery, make it strong and that was the agonising part.

"Then we had bodies coming in. We won promotion, we knew the score, new guys would need to come in and we all knew that. We needed people to help the team, be all aboard.

"That didn't upset me, just the nature of the whole recovery - knowing there was nothing I could do.

"There's no explanation. I knew something was wrong right away but I am saving those details for myself.

"It was one of those things where I was hanging out with the wife and kids and some things didn't feel right.

"Sure enough, I went in the next day and got confirmation I was going to be out with no time frame.

"[Was it career threatening?] Yeah, it could have been.

"I know eventually I will be able to explain everything, explain what went wrong but I am going to give that a little bit of time before I know I am clear of any recurrence.

"But yes, I had a few wobbles, a few rough nights, days. There was no time telling when I would come back.

"There is no time frame. I could have been out another four to six weeks but we went another route and and hopefully now it has settled down and I am back in training.

"There is no guarantee, there are still a few things I need to stay on top of, but I have been doing that and the fact tht I have played and came through with out any recurrence has gone a long way for my mental and physical confidence."

Fulham's start to the season has been marred with injuries and an unsettled defensive unit that has shipped goals.

The club are flirting near the bottom three having won just one game so far this season, a 4-2 win over Burnley in August - and those bottom three places are somewhere that Ream has been before.

He was relegated from the Premier League with the side in 2012 having joined midway through the season, but he thinks that the situation he encountered in that season with Bolton is of stark contrast to the one that he's currently undergoing with Fulham this season.

After the international break, the Cottagers face Cardiff City, Bournemouth and Huddersfield Town in what are looking increasingly like must-win games for Jokanovic's men.

It's something that Ream agrees with, with the American believing that the results of those game will be more of a indicator of where Fulham will be this season.

He added: "They're completely different situations. At Bolton when I came in they were already down there. I think I had 12 or 13 games. They'd already played over half their season and were stuck down there, and that's the way we finished.

"Here, there's so much of the season left.

"Obviously you can't just say. ‘Oh, well, there’s the next game, and the next game.’ It doesn't work like that, but I don't know that there needs to be any panic setting in yet.

"You look at the results and the schedule to date and it's been fairly tough.

"I think the result everyone's really disappointed with is Brighton [Fulham let go a 2-0 lead] - win that match and, all of a sudden, your points haul for the first two months of the season isn't looking too bad, particularly for a newly promoted side.

"I don't think you can get overly anxious at this point in the season. After the international break the results are going to be a lot more indicative of where we’re going to be.

"It’s the matches after this break that I think will be the most important"

After moving to SW6 in 2015, Ream now has a special bond with the Fulham fans.

"REAMMMMMM" is a common sound whenever he gets on the ball, a simple but sweet ode to a firm fan favourite at Craven Cottage.

He was chosen as Player of the Season last year, despite Ryan Sessegnon scoring 16 goals and Aleksandar Mitrovic bagging himself 12 from February to the end of the season, and in a career that has seen him play for his country and win at Wembley, that honour is one that stands out in his carrer.

"It’s not been all roses the entire time I've been here, my first season and a half was not the best.

"We’ll leave it at that.

"But to now have what I have with the fans, that relationship, that chant, simple as it is, is nice.

"To be vindicated in the way I play by being chosen as the fans’ Player of the Season was special - only because of the way I started out and to then turn it around in a promotion-winning team with four or five guys that could have easily won that award.

"It is special to me, and it stands out in my professional and personal career."























Source Ryan O'Donovan at football.london
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