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Watford midfielder Almen Abdi says he would not wish his foot problem on anyone but hopes he can put his injury behind him
Almen Abdi has been tormented psychologically with the continual set-backs during his recovery but admits tearing a tendon in his foot completely in January was a blessing in disguise.
Abdi has suffered with a foot condition since August and endured several aborted comebacks during the last seven months.
The influential midfielder returned during four substitute appearances in January before another crushing blow, as he was forced off after just 14 minutes against Nottingham Forest.
Abdi has been suffering from Plantar Fasciitis which results in sharp and often unexpected pains in his foot.
Often scans and tests would indicate the player had recovered before another set-back would occur.
But the tendon completely tore at the City Ground on January 30 and whilst he hasn’t completely recovered, Abdi is closer to full fitness.
The 27-year-old started his first match in seven months on Tuesday night and scored during a man-of-the-match display in the 3-0 victory over Leeds United.
He said: “With other injuries, like ligament injuries or a broken bone, you know how long you will be out for.
"For me it was totally different, it was said that I would be back in two to three weeks and then it’s been six months.
“So psychologically that was the most difficult thing for me.
“Everyone would ask me ‘when will you be fit?’. I would say soon, two weeks, but it wouldn’t be. So I think that [dealing with it psychologically] was the most difficult thing.”
“It has been really, really hard and I don’t wish this injury on anyone,” Abdi added.
“It’s been a very hard time for me. I don’t know how many times I came back to train or play and wasn’t able to. So now I am really pleased and happy to be back in the stadium. I heard the appreciation from the fans and it makes me very proud.
“It means a lot to me. It’s great when you come in, hear your name and then hear the fans screaming. It means a lot to me.”
Abdi admitted his foot is sometimes sore in the morning but is positive about the future.
When asked if the tendon tearing was a blessing in disguise, he replied: “Yes I think so. I’m not sure what would’ve happened if I hadn’t played in that game.
“I need to forget the past now and just look forward to the future. I am just happy to be back. We’ve got six games left and I want to give my best, work hard to get back to my old shape.”
Abdi was Watford’s star performer on Tuesday night and showed why he was the club’s Player of the Year last season.
‘The Professor’ scored the opener and created another goal during the second half before he was replaced with five minutes remaining.
Abdi described his return as “the perfect day”.
He later stated that he could have played better and believes some of his touches were “not like they usually are”.
But he is not worried and is now hoping he can help Watford end their recent trend of conceding late goals.
He said: “We know that we have dropped too many points in the last five and ten minutes of games. It happened against Burnley and also several times before.
“We’ve led games by two goals but have lost the match. It’s over now though, we just have to avoid the same mistakes.
“Of course it’s in the head. When you’re leading by a single goal then maybe you’re a little bit scared.
"It’s something we have to work on but I think it’s a problem in the head."
Burnley's 86th-minute equaliser on Saturday means the Hornets have now shipped nine goals in the final ten minutes of league games, costing them ten points.
With the Golden Boys seven points below the play-off places, the tendency to concede late has been costly.
Watford still have a chance of reaching the top six as they have a game in hand and six matches remaining.
Abdi has not given up hope.
He said: "All the other teams are struggling. Reading lost today and we won. So I think anything is possible.
"We have a game in hand and in football, especially in the Championship, anything is possible. So we will keep going until the end."
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