West Ham United defender James Collins has given an interview to Sport Wales with his comments later published online by the London Evening Standard, and in it he admitted he feared his career could have been over all the way back in 2008.
The Welsh international suffered a cruciate ligament injury while playing for the Hammers’ reserve team seven years ago and such was the severity of the blow that he worried he could have played his last professional match.
“I’m thinking this is never going to be the same again,” he said. “I remember at my age looking at the fact that a cruciate knee injury – you used to see players not come back from that.”
Thankfully for the player and the club he recovered fully and to date Collins has made 167 appearances for West Ham including 17 this season.
While the 32-year-old was in and out of the team at the start of the campaign, he has now become a key player for Slaven Bilic’s side, starting the last eight league matches and being involved in only one defeat in that time.
The future looks very bright for West Ham, and while much of the talk is about the star-names such as Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini, the unsung Collins continues to play a vital role.