I feel desperately sorry for Mauro Zarate. I have seen good friends suffer long-term injuries and the strength of character you have to show is enormous.
I think the longest spell I was ever out injured was seven weeks — and that was bad enough. It was a tendon problem in my knee when I was at Fulham.
At first I was told that I’d need an operation and that I’d be out for three months. I broke down when I heard the news.
It might sound an excessive reaction but I couldn’t take the idea of three months without playing football.
In the end, we let it heal naturally rather than having surgery and I was back inside two months.
I was fortunate, so I can only imagine how hard it must be for Zarate, who damaged cruciate and medial knee ligaments in Watford’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.
I have seen friends positive one moment, in tears the next. I’ve seen them questioning whether they will come back as strong as before.
There is the mental turmoil, the fitness sessions on your own. It’s a horrendous time and I wish Zarate a smooth, speedy recovery.