There were times when he thought he might never play again, so Newtongrange Star midfielder Stuart Roseburgh is just happy to be back out on the pitch even though his side are fighting it out at the bottom of the table.
Roseburgh spent more than two years on the sidelines after dislocating his knee innocuously in May 2014 when playing for Bonnyrigg Rose in their final game of the season.
He spent one year out, only to suffer another injury setback in his first training session with Musselburgh Athletic at the beginning of last season. It was then he realised the full extent of his knee trouble – a cruciate ligament tear – and therefore had to go under the knife if he wished to play again.
After hours upon hours spent in the gym trying to build up his leg muscles in his recovery after the operation, Roseburgh is back playing again and the fightback has all been worth it in his eyes.
“I was just running down the line and my knee just went away from me and dislocated,” said Roseburgh on the horror injury sustained at Camelon’s Carmuirs Park.
“It was an ambulance job on the park and everything. I had a year left at Bonnyrigg then I signed for Musselburgh. I thought my knee was fine to be honest, then I did my first training session and my knee just kept buckling so I had to get the full cruciate operation.
“There were times when I thought I’d never play again, but I just never gave up. I was in the gym all the time after getting the operation and I just remained positive. It’s been a long road to recovery. I’ve had to build all my legs back up from scratch basically, it’s taken a bit of time, but I feel really good and I’m just glad to back.
“There was a season when I didn’t even go and watch games, because it killed me – I just wanted to be involved.”
Roseburgh, who turns 31 next week, and is the old head in a youthful New Victoria Park squad, owes his manager Stevie McLeish everything for showing faith in him.
It was McLeish who signed him for Musselburgh, where he didn’t make one appearance, before he offered Roseburgh the opportunity to train with Star in pre-season and won himself a deal with his former club where he spent seven years at the start of his career.
Roseburgh continued: “I’m absolutely delighted to be back. I feel really strong and I actually feel fitter than ever just now, I feel really good. I’m back at Newtongrange, the club where it all started off for me. It’s just good to be back involved, having banter and back training again.
“Stevie has helped me out a lot and I appreciate everything he has done for me, he’s given me the opportunity to get back into a team where it all started off for me.
“I had my best playing time at Newtongrange. It’s a really good club, I’d say it’s maybe a sleeping giant of the Super League. We’re down the bottom of the table, not where we want to be, but it’s pretty hard for Stevie with a new team and a lot of young boys that haven’t played at this level before and it’s new to them.”
Roseburgh comes up against his former Rose manager Max Christie tomorrow as Broxburn Athletic visit Newtongrange.
He won both the Super League title and the East of Scotland Cup under the tutelage of Christie, but he’s aiming to put one over his former gaffer as Star look to get off the foot of the table ahead of a big match against fellow strugglers Fauldhouse United next week.
“We’ve not been winning as many games as we’d have liked to but hopefully that will come,” said Roseburgh. “It’s just a new team and sometimes it takes a wee while to get started.
“Being bottom of the table it’s not where we want to be, but we’re remaining positive and everyone is trying to work together. There’s a good feeling about the dressing room just now, the past two or three games we’ve managed to pick up a few points. It’s looking a wee bit more positive than what it was because the dressing room was certainly hurting at the start of the season.”