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Carr revs up again

Posted on 19 February 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Stephen Carr is nearing a return to action after seven months on the sidelines and gives us an exclusive update on his progress.

He has kept himself out of the spotlight in that time and concentrated on getting back to what he loves most - playing football.

It's been tough for the fans favourite and he's missed out on the 'new' Spurs under Glenn Hoddle, the run to and, on Sunday, the final of the Worthington Cup and Ireland's magnificent qualification for this summer's World Cup Finals.

But, as he explained to Paul Miles, after missing out on so much, he doesn't want to rush the final part of his return...

Go all the way back to September and you flew out to America for surgery just after the September 11 tragedies. That must have been a daunting trip.
Stephen Carr:
I knew I had to do something about the knee. If I'm honest I didn't fancy going to America at that stage. It was a bit nerve-wracking but I knew I had to go out and see this guy (Dr Steadman) because he's recommended by a lot of top people. It's part and parcel of football. I went to see him and hopefully it will be the end of my knee problem.

What was problem?
SC:
I'd rather not say exactly. I had a problem and that's the end of it. He thinks he's solved it and I shouldn't have any further problems. I went to see him again at Christmas and he's happy with how it's gone. I don't want to delve exactly into what was done because personally I don't think it's anyone's business apart from mine. I will say that I got it at the right time, before it became too chronic for me. He's confident he's sorted it out.

Things seem to be going well. You're running freely and kicking a ball again.
SC:
I've been doing a lot more for the last two weeks, stepping up my running and striking a ball again. At the moment I've no complaints and I feel really good.

It must be a nice feeling to kick a ball after so long.
SC:
It's great. It's been since the end of July and it's been a drag. I also had a little stomach problem as well and that stopped me doing the rehab on my knee for a while. I feel good and it's great to be out there again. I know I'll feel rough from all the running but it beats sitting in that treatment room.

Things went well for three, four years before this injury. You always said in that time perhaps footballers don't appreciate what they've got until it's taken away. So how did that feel?
SC:
I've got a taste of the other side and at the end of the day, you are nothing. I understand that. It goes for everything in life. When things are going well everyone wants a piece of you and then when they aren't going so well, people step back a bit. You have to accept that. It's the way of life, not just football. It just makes you want to get back to what you had before and makes you appreciate walking out in front of 35,000 because, looking back, I might have taken it for granted being in the squad. No, that's wrong, I didn't take it for granted but it makes you appreciate the profession you are in and how lucky you are. It's taught me one or two things. It makes you think about things. I suppose injury has it's good and bad aspects.

On a personal level it must have been worse to miss out on the football we've played, being out there with the new players, reaching a cup final - you've missed all that.
SC:
People might well say 'you can't be doing that well if you aren't higher' but I think we've been very unlucky. We've played well. Things are going in the right direction and we're playing great football. Another cup final as well, it's going well for the club. It's very disappointing losing out but if that's all I have to worry about for the rest of my career I'll take that. It's been disappointing missing out on World Cup qualifiers as well but the main thing now is to get back playing again. It's great being out there again and I can't wait.

Again, talking about missing out, it's been even more so as the system we've played seems made for you.
SC:
You say that but I now have to win my place back. The players who have played there have done excellently and it's all to play for now. I don't mind, I'll enjoy that. It's good to have competition all over the pitch and we're getting that now. That makes a good team. I'll look forward to the challenge.

No-one has put an exact date on you coming back and I wouldn't ask that now, but are you hoping to be back before the end of the season?
SC:
I'd like to think the way things are going that I'll be back in full training in a couple of weeks so yes, I'll be back before the end of the season as long as I don't break down. I suppose people will say I've broken down already! In a couple of weeks the way things are going I should be back in full training and I'll take it from there, get involved in games. I've no complaints at the moment.

At least you haven't rushed back.
SC:
It would be stupid now after nearly seven months out to rush the final part. It's hard because you want to get back, especially when you feel you can do a bit more. You just have to hold yourself back. I don't want to ruin it now.

There is plenty to look forward to.
SC:
Things are going really well. It would be nice to win the Worthington Cup Final and get back into Europe and we're still in the FA Cup. The team is playing well but we need to get into Europe again, just to get that experience. I'm not thinking about that though, just about playing football. The team looks after itself and I'm not going to be involved in that for a little while yet.