JACK WHATMOUGH has vowed to show the mental strength needed to make a full injury recovery.
And the exciting young defender has promised he’ll put in the summer graft to ensure he returns stronger than ever from his knee woes.
I need to stay mentally strong and get back on the pitch.Jack Whatmough
Whatmough is making a steady recovery from the cruciate injury picked up against Cheltenham in March.
The 18-year-old underwent surgery in Havant five weeks ago and is now building up his rehabilitation.
That means long days in the gym at Pompey’s Roko training base in Hilsea, while his team-mates rest up on holiday.
The Gosport talent knows the levels of dedication needed to make a full return from a serious injury.
But Whatmough stated he’ll do exactly what is required- while also looking to add physical power to his game.
And he’ll learn the lessons of previous mistakes to get back to his best.
Whatmough said: ‘It’s going well and the operation went smoothly.
‘I’ve been doing my rehabilitation work and the medical team have been brilliant with me.
‘Staying around hasn’t bothered me. You have to put the work in to get the rewards.
‘I’m doing upper-body work because I need to get a bit bigger while I’m out.
‘I’m looking forward to the hard work.
‘Maybe not a lot of people say that, but I don’t mind.
‘I’m not a massive fan of going away in the summer.
‘I did that last summer and enjoyed myself too much. I can’t come back with extra weight this time.
‘So I’m looking forward to putting the work in to get the reward of getting back playing again.
‘I’ve been okay mentally.
‘I’ve felt a bit stiff, but that will happen.
‘It’s how you deal with it.
‘I’m not going to dwell on it. I’ve got good people around me, great physios and my family, who have stuck by me.
‘I need to stay mentally strong and get back on the pitch.’
Whatmough is refusing to set any targets for a return to action in a blue shirt.
He feels doing that’s setting himself up for a fall if he fails to hit a comeback date.
But Whatmough is taking inspiration from former team-mate, Wes Fogden who made a full recovery last season after a similar problem
He said: ‘I’m not going to rush it or set targets.
‘If I set a target and don’t get there, I’ll be down.
‘That could affect me. I don’t want to set targets, not get there and disappoint myself.
‘All I want to do is play next season.
‘It’s a serious injury I’m not going to rush.
‘If I’m back next season at some point I’d be happy.
‘Back in the day it was career ending, but the surgeons and facilities can get you back as good as ever.
‘Look at Foggy. He came back fine. If I can do that it would be great.’