Simon Ramsden is hoping to put his injury nightmare behind him and enjoy his best season yet at Fir Park.
The experienced defender was having a fabulous season and was many fans’ pick for Player of the Year until an innocuous fall at Tynecastle last January incredibly ruled him out for the rest of campaign.
It has been six months of frustration for the former Bradford City man as he watched his teammates secure a runners-up spot in the league.
But he’s now back in full training and can’t wait for the new campaign to get started.
After a grueling week of treble sessions in the Algarve, the 32-year old said: “I’ve been playing a little catch-up having been out since last January.
“Hopefully I have a bit more luck that I did in the second half of last season. It was horrendous; I got hurt against Hearts and initially told I would be out for three weeks.
[pullquote]Three operations later I was still out, so it was a bad time. There were complications with the first two ops. It was really frustrating to say the least, but thankfully now it feels great[/pullquote].
“It’s hard when the lads are going training and I was doing the same things over and over again in the gym.
“Towards the end of the season, Paul Lawson and Stuart Carswell were injured as well, so we could motivate one another and do circuits.
“But when you are by yourself, it can be very lonely and depressing. You have to keep telling yourself you are doing it to get back to fitness. This is the last year of my contract at Motherwell and my aim is to build on the form I showed before I got injured.”
Pictured showing off some of his unusual body artwork, Ramsden, a keen Sunderland fan, explain the tributes.
“I have my dad tattooed on the right side of my chest. He goes to every game I play and I’m very close to him,” he said.
“He is the biggest influence on my career. He is a social worker; he’s 66 and coming up for retirement but goes everywhere to watch me.
“On the other side is my granddad, Bobby. He passed away three years ago, so it’s a tribute to him. Underneath I’ve got my little girl’s name, Bella.
“I’ve got a Sunderland tattoo at the bottom of my back and another in an area you wouldn’t want to know about. If I said I got it whilst on my stag do last year, you will probably be able to figure out where it is!”