Striker Craig Curran admits if he’s learned one new thing since joining Dundee United, unfortunately it is what a real dead leg is like.
The man who got his first Tangerines goal in the impressive weekend victory over likely promotion rivals Partick Thistle admits he’s still feeling the “charley horse” he picked up in the final pre-season friendly almost a month-and-a-half ago.
And that left him frustrated and, quite literally, out in the cold.
“Now I do know what a proper dead leg is. I’ve had them before and I think they cleared in a couple of days but this one blew up double the size,” said the Liverpudlian.
“I was living on the ice machine for weeks but it just wouldn’t come down. It was purely a time thing and I just had to wait. It’s still not fully healed, that’s how bad it was.
“It was tough to have played all the pre-season friendlies and then get hurt in the last one. It was tough to take but it’s a long season so there will, hopefully, be plenty games for me.
“Because of my injury I missed all the Betfred Cup games. That was a few competitive games, which was frustrating because I did all the work and was ready to go in them, then got the dead leg.
“It was hard watching but it’s nice to be back and that was, near enough, my first full 90 minutes against Thistle so that was good.”
He suffered the injury in an accidental collision in a friendly against Cowdenbeath just days before the cup action kicked off.
A few other players also suffered problems around that time and it did not help the gelling process for Csaba Laszlo’s new-look squad.
Curran believes that contributed to the teething problems in the opening weeks of the season but believes wins in the last two league outings have shown United are on the right path.
Saturday’s 3-1 Tannadice success over the Jags was an impressive win and he reckons the team will only continue to improve in the coming weeks and months. He added: “I think it was another marker down in the league, against the side that came down with Ross County, to show where we’re at.
“We obviously didn’t get off to a great start against Dunfermline in the league but you’ve seen how well we’ve bounced with two big wins in those last two games.
“That’s massively important, especially at home. With the crowd and support we get it is important that we put performances on for them and get wins like this one.
“I thought we controlled the game against Thistle but, look, we’re still improving and everyone has to understand that.
“There are so many new players. If you look at the starting line-up on Saturday, most of them were new, apart from a couple of the boys. The fans probably still don’t know all our names there’s been so many of us coming in!
“It’s important that we keep winning while we’re improving. We’ll take any win in the league, 1-0 or 4-0, but it was nice to play well against Thistle and it was good to get some goals. Everyone is gelling well and it is a good dressing-room here.”
Saturday saw another recent injury victim, full-back Callum Booth, make a brief appearance near the end.
With him and others returning, Curran feels the improvement will only accelerate.
“It’s been some important players who have been missing. Boothy’s back now and we are still waiting on Fraser Fyvie – he is going to be a very big player for us.
“Like I say, I’ve missed a large portion of the work myself and, although I’m playing again, I am still catching up with fitness and things.
“The boys are heading in the right direction and we are looking for a full squad to go and get promoted.”