JOHN McREADY is hoping for a smooth ride for the rest of the season after hitting the exercise bike to recover from a frustrating first six months at York City.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been restricted to just three substitute outings since his summer switch from Darlington, having dislocated his shoulder during September’s 0-0 home draw with tomorrow’s League Two hosts Cheltenham.
Following a promising pre-season, McReady’s progress at Bootham Crescent had earlier been curtailed when he contracted glandular fever but he is hoping to put all that behind him after returning to action with a brace in Tuesday night’s 3-0 North Riding Senior Cup victory over Northallerton Town.
On his Minstermen career so far, McReady said: “It’s been frustrating and I’ve not had much luck since signing for the club.
“I was ill when I first came here and was just about getting back to full fitness and then I did my shoulder so, hopefully, I will be injury free from now on.
“I’ve not really had a long lay-off before so it’s been hard but the lads and (physio) Jeff (Miller) helped me get through it.”
Spinning classes, recommended by manager Gary Mills, helped McReady get back on track in terms of regaining his general fitness and, while having been sidelined for three-and-a-half months, the midfielder admitted his rehabilitation has been more active that it might have been had he injured another part of his body.
“After I first had the operation, I was allowed to do bike work so I’ve been doing a lot of spinning classes,” he revealed. “I was able to get through them and recover some of my sharpness.
“For about the last six weeks, I’ve been doing a few little exercises to get mobility back into the shoulder and then started to do some weights to increase its strength. For the last two or three weeks, I’ve been doing contact training and a lot of fitness work.
“Tuesday’s game was a huge help, though, in terms of my match fitness. I’ve also fallen on the shoulder a few times now and it’s felt all right.
“I actually landed on it badly a couple of years ago but did not really think much of it but the operation has been done now and it’s back to full strength so, hopefully, it won’t happen again.”
McReady lasted 83 minutes in his comeback game and experienced no adverse reaction after the final whistle, adding: “I did tire a bit and was a bit stiff afterwards but I was glad to get through the match with no niggles. Scoring twice was a bonus but the team winning was all that really mattered and I thought we were comfortable throughout.”
After making his Football League debut at the age of 17, McReady went on to score three goals for first club Darlington in 53 appearances.
Following his two strikes against Northallerton, he is hoping he can translate that form to the first team during the coming months, saying: “I want to get goals, as everybody does.
“Hopefully, I can get a few in the first team if I get the run-outs.
“First of all, though, I want to get in the team, impress and help the side as much as I can.”
Mills has earmarked McReady as a contender for two positions in the team when he is fit and the player, who performed on the right flank against Northallerton, insists he would be happy to fill either role, saying: “I used to mix about playing in midfield and out wide at Darlington so I will be all right with wherever the gaffer wants me to play.”