Callum McFadzean celebrates his Argyle debut in style, scoring a fourth minute goal to give the Pilgrims an early lead in their League Two game against Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road on Saturday, August 3, 2019 - PHOTO: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK(Image: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK)

How hard work paid off for Plymouth Argyle's Callum McFadzean in his fight for fitness

The 26-year-old admitted it was 'tough' to be out of action for two months due to a knee injury


Callum McFadzean has described the ‘amazing’ feeling of returning to action for Plymouth Argyle after a lengthy injury absence.

McFadzean was sidelined for two months by knee ligament damage which he sustained in the 1-1 draw away to Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup second round on December 1.

Under the guidance of head physio Dave Galley and John Lucas, Argyle’s fitness and conditioning coach, the 26-year-old tackled with rehabilitation with tremendous determination.

That included days of double and triple training sessions and now all his hard work has paid off.

McFadzean made his playing comeback as a half-time substitute in the 3-0 defeat at Colchester United last Saturday.

He then featured for the full game as the Pilgrims won 3-2 away to Salford City on Tuesday.

McFadzean said: “It has been tough but just to be back out there playing with the boys was amazing. To get three points as well topped it off.

“I have got to credit Dave and John. I had a couple of days off (after the Bristol Rovers game) until I saw the specialist and since then it has been double, treble sessions a day.

“It has shown the hard work I have put in off the field and my fitness levels are still there.”

McFadzean’s injury troubles started when he took a blow to a knee during the 1-0 win at Forest Green Rovers on November 16 and has to be taken off.

Nonetheless, he was still fit enough to start the next two games, the second one being against Bristol Rovers.

But the injury he suffered at the Memorial Stadium was not one that he could carry on playing with, despite his initial determination to do so.
Callum McFadzean reaches out to make a clearance for Argyle in their 3-2 League Two win away to Salford City at the Peninsula Stadium on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - Photo: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK(Image: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK)

McFadzean said: “I took a bang on the knee against Forest Green and I carried on. Then I did the main injury against Bristol, that was my ligaments.

“When I went to see the specialist it showed the injury from Forest Green as well.

“That was just more bruising to the bone and stuff like that. I could have played on through that.

“I tried playing on through the ligaments, to be fair, but the Gaffer (Ryan Lowe) and Dave said ‘No, you need to get this checked’.

“I got it checked and it weren’t good but it could have been a lot worse.”

Prior to his injury lay-off, McFadzean had played all of his games for Argyle at left wing-back, but against Salford he lined up on the left side of central defence.

With skipper Gary Sawyer suspended, Lowe opted to play McFadzean there instead of Josh Grant, who had filled that role against Colchester.

McFadzean said: “The Gaffer knows I can play there, and if he puts me in any position I will give my 100 per cent.

“It’s a position I have played before and I enjoy it. I like to get forward still. I am allowed to do that, obviously as long as I don’t start being stupid.”

After winning at Salford, fourth-placed Argyle will look to build on that result when they take on Crewe Alexandra, who are second, at Home Park tomorrow.

McFadzean said: “They are the games you want to be involved in aren’t they? You want to be coming up against the good teams.

“They (Crewe) play good football so it’s going to be a good game at a packed out Home Park. You wouldn’t want it any other way.”

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The teams last met on the opening day of the League Two campaign and Argyle won 3-0, with McFadzean getting two of the goals on his debut.

He said: “I couldn’t have wished for a better start really. It seems so long ago but, just refreshing it in my mind now, it was amazing.

“Just to see how many of our fans there was and how they loud they were, and they have been like that all season so credit to them.

“The support they have been giving us is massive and all the boys and the Gaffer appreciate it.”