Dundee United midfielder Calum Butcher has revealed his eagerness to do his bit for the team led to a summer of major frustration.
The Englishman suffered a groin tear late in the first play-off at Inverness Caley Thistle in mid-May but his determination to help out saw him come on as a sub in the second leg of the final down at St Mirren.
For him, the result of that was a much longer spell on the sidelines than he’d anticipated.
“At the time I didn’t realise the injury was going to be as long as it turned out to be. I was trying to push myself to be back in while the play-offs were still going on,” said the 28-year-old.
“In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the best thing for me to do, given what the injury was, but you want to be involved in big games like that and I did all I could to be there.”
The good news for the Tangerines and Butcher is he’s now back.
The past week has seen him get 45 minutes of Betfred Cup action against Hearts at Tynecastle and score the winner when he managed another hour at Stenhousemuir on Tuesday night.
And he’s confident he’ll be up to full match fitness by the time the Championship opener against Inverness comes round in a fortnight’s time.
“It’s been something I just had to look after and make sure I recovered properly because I don’t want it happening again.
“Since I’ve come back I’m feeling good and there’s been no problems with it.
“I’m back now and there are three more games before the league starts up, so I have plenty time to get my fitness and be ready for that.”
The first of those games is the first home outing of the season when Cowdenbeath are Betfred visitors tonight.
For Butcher, a third run-out in a week is perfect, though he stresses it’s about much more than just getting sharp.
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“It’s a quick turnaround for Cowdenbeath and now the games are coming thick and fast. However, that’s what you want at this time of the year.
“You want plenty games to get your match fitness up, so we’re quite pleased to skip the training and get as many fixtures in as we can.
“The main thing is getting another win.
“The gaffer has said from the start we want to win every game this year. Every game we go into we have the squad, we have the players who can produce that.
“There is not going to be a game we go into this season where we don’t feel we can win.
“The two fixtures so far in the cup have put us in a decent position.
“The next two are at Tannadice and we will be looking for wins because we want to progress from the group.”