Sam Nicholson believes that his spell on the sidelines could be the making of him as a person.
The winger faces three months out after undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus last week, and he’s revealed the levels of encouragement he’s had from everyone at the club as he aims to get back onto the pitch after the New Year.
Speaking to HeartsTV, Sam said: “The gaffer’s said that I can’t sit down and feel sorry for myself. He’s said that I have to have a positive mental attitude, hopefully that’ll strive me to get fitter.
“After I had my op I woke up to texts from every single player and that just shows the bond we have as a team. It was good for me, knowing that I’ve got all these people there for me.
“Callum Paterson had a similar injury and he texted me to say ‘just keep the head’ and that’s the most important thing to do right now because there isn’t anything I can do in physical terms.
“The next wee while is psychological and it’s down to me to mature as a person and get the head right and that’s going to be good for me.”
The news of Sam’s injury came as surprise and a blow to everyone of a maroon persuasion, with the midfielder having made a positive start to this year’s campaign, bagging three goals to date. The Scotland U21 star is remaining positive however and insists it could’ve been much worse.
“I’ve had problems with me knee for a wee while,” he said. “But it was never anything serious in terms of having to stop playing. Recently against Motherwell I came off for the last ten minutes and the week after that the physio was checking my leg and they realised I couldn’t straighten it properly.
“That was a worry for them so I went for a scan and found out I’d torn my meniscus cartilage, which isn’t great. The operation had to be done, it’s done now so I just need to look forward to trying to get back.
“The operation wasn’t too bad. I was put to sleep for it, thank god, but it went well. I’m lucky because it could’ve went two ways; when you’ve torn your meniscus if it’s that bad then you sometimes need to shave the cartilage off but luckily for me they managed to save the meniscus and it’s just about taking time to try and heal now.
“I’m happy because if I had to get some of the meniscus taken out then it would’ve been a couple of years off the end of my career, which would’ve been a wee bit worse for me so I’m happy it never went that way.”
The 21-year-old must now rest at home before beginning the road to recovery. He knows when the time will be right to make his comeback, though he hopes it will be sooner rather than later.
“We’re talking about a recovery time of three months,” he said. “Hopefully it can be quicker, but it could be longer. I don’t want to rush it. I know my body and if it feels good then I’ll try be back and if it’s not good then I’ll take my time. It’s not the end of the world and if I stay positive then I should be okay.”
You can listen to Sam’s interview in full now on HeartsTV.