It was a special moment for Dan Bartlett in the Sky Blues Under-23s season opener last month, as he made his return from injury against Birmingham City.
Bartlett suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear, which ruled him out for over twelve months, as he was side-lined to months of recovery and rehabilitation.
The midfielder played 45 minutes in his return to action and he spoke of his delight to finally lace up his boots and put on the Sky Blue of Coventry City.
“It was really good.” Bartlett said.
“It was my first 45 from being back from injury and it just felt nice to be back out on the pitch and with the lads.
“It made the hard work all worth it, because when you think back at all of the rehab I’ve done and the hours that have been put in to get to this stage, I’m really happy to be back.
“It was the same pitch as to when I got injured before so it was in my mind a little, but as soon as I started playing it was all good and out of my mind.”
Bartlett suffered his ACL injury back in September against Hull City in a 23s clash at the Alan Higgs Centre.
The injury was his first long-term lay-off in his career and he began his road to recovery with the help of Jodi Jones and Max Biamou.
Also, unfortunately for Reise Allassani and Wesley Jobello, they both also suffered a similar injury at the same time as Dan, so he had people to lean on for support as they went through the recovery together.
“It was hard. Watching the boys from inside the gym was tough and not being able to go out there and contribute was difficult.
“It was my first real bad injury and the longest I’d ever been out so it was hard to deal with, but I had Jodi and Max to speak to and then also I had Wes and Reise who were also going through the rehab with me at the same time so we all came together.
“Wes and Reise had been through it before so they knew what they were doing but for me it was my first time, so they helped me having them to lean on and talk to.”
Now the 19-year-old is back, he has set his sights on picking up where he left off and building on his debut for the first team back in September of 2019 and also helping the 23s in their new season.
“It was really good, just the feeling of being back out on the grass and kicking the ball about with the boys was good and I really enjoyed it.
“It will probably take me a few games to get back up to speed but I’m feeling good in training and I’m feeling sharp, I just need a few more minutes.
“Also, I want to show the Gaffer and Adi people like that, that I could be amongst the first team boys and then also have a good season with the 23s and push on from there.”