Corry Evans says chats with NI legend helped him through injury ordeal

Photo showing former Sunderland midfielder Corry Evans
-Credit: (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Corry Evans says regular chats with Northern Ireland legend Steven Davis helped him through his latest injury ordeal.

The 33-year-old was sidelined for over a year after rupturing his ACL at the start of 2023. Former international captain Davis suffered a similar injury in December 2022 which eventually led to the veteran midfielder retiring from the game earlier this year.

Evans says he kept in contact with Davis throughout both players' lengthy recoveries.

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And the ex-Sunderland midfielder - who was released by the Black Cats at the end of last season - credits the former Northern Ireland captain to helping him chart his way through rehab.

"Davo has obviously gone through the same injury. So we were bouncing off each other and checking in on each other as we both went through rehab. It was nice having him stay in touch, and we were both able to go through it together," Evans said.

"He was probably six to eight weeks ahead of me. So I was able to ask him where he was with his injury at different stages and so on. And discussing what problems we had with our injuries.

Photo shows Corry Evans challenging Jobe Bellingham of Birmingham City
Corry Evans challenges Jobe Bellingham of Birmingham City -Credit:Tony Marshall/Getty Images

"Davo had a more complicated injury than me. Mine was just a straight rupture of the ACL. I think he had a bit more damage elsewhere.

"It is nice to speak to someone who has gone through a similar path or rehab. He has been a great help to me throughout that injury."

Evans endured a protracted recovery from his ACL injury, suffering a number of setbacks which delayed his return to competitive action. He admits the rehab was as much a mental challenge than a physical one.

"I probably should have been back earlier, but I was rushing things towards the end. I kept thinking 'I should be back' and that probably delayed things," he said.

"I can deal with the injury itself, but it's the setbacks that kill you. When you have a target to return, and then it gets pushed back a month. You feel you're back to square one. That was the hardest part.

Photo showing Steven Davis
Steven Davis represented his country 140 times -Credit:Inpho

"You have to tick a lot of boxes when you're recovering from this type of injury, before you can return to training. I had a couple of muscle injuries which can add up. And suddenly two weeks turns into four, then six."

Evans added: "The hardest part is coping with a long-term injury. It is a mental challenge more than anything," he said.

"You have a target when you initially have the injury. You have a return date, but as you go along you have various setbacks that push that date back and back.

"Sometimes you can never see the light at the end of the tunnel. You are stuck in the gym, when you just want to get out and train with the lads. You might feel fine, but you're not and you're now allowed.

"So it is mentally very tough. But a lot of players have gone through it. I was always fortunate that I never had any injuries with my knees, up until the last couple of years.

"So I think I have done quite well in the early part of my career."

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