Jordan Rossiter opens up on his 16-month ‘one in 10,000’ setback following Bristol Rovers return

All season, Jordan Rossiter’s status has been a bit of an unknown as the Bristol Rovers midfielder continued to work towards returning from what seemed to be a serious knee injury. When asked, those who have sat in the hot seat this term have given updates that, with hindsight, have all seemed to be wide of the mark. Frankly, no one knew exactly whether or not we would see the 27-year-old back in the blue-and-white quarters.

As recently as the end of January, Matt Taylor admitted that he wasn’t expecting to have Rossiter available before the end of the season as the midfielder’s time out surpassed a year. Thankfully, that judgement was proven premature as the 27-year-old made his long-awaited return to the pitch last Saturday in the 3-1 win at Cheltenham Town having been an unused substitute against Bolton Wanderers and Reading.

Besides from the trademark tucked in shirt, you could spot Rossiter on the pitch from a mile off with his constant endeavour to win back the ball for his team, a level of effort that has also meant that Taylor has had to manage the midfielder’s minutes against Cheltenham and Cambridge United on Tuesday given the extensive period of time that the Liverpool youth product has faced out.

We’ve all been desperate to hear the story from Rossiter’s own point of view once he had returned to playing but the truth is that no one outside of the building fully understood the seriousness of what the Rovers favourite has gone through over the past 16 months since picking up a knee injury against MK Dons that was thought to side line him for six weeks.

“It’s a long story and a bit of a mad one but it was only meant to be a six week injury originally,” the midfielder said with an infectious smile that also seems to be a trademark feature of the Scouser. “It was the MK Dons game where I got the injury. Just going for a header, I felt something in my knee. I went and saw the specialist who said, ‘listen, I can get you back playing within four to six weeks’ which would have been just after Christmas.

“I went in for surgery the week later but then unfortunately during the surgery I picked up an infection. I don’t quite know the name for it but it was an infection that travelled through my bloodstream and got into my joints. From then I was really ill, sick for a few weeks and a lot of nights in hospital. Obviously on drips and antibiotics and things like that. From then on in it was an uphill battle to get back.

Jordan Rossiter impressed in his first couple of months as a Bristol Rovers player(Image: Robbie Stephenson/JMP)

“Everything was good in the knee but it was where that infection got into the joint. That’s what really set me back and, you know, I lost weight and obviously lost all of my leg muscles. Learning to walk and things like that so it was an uphill task but I just knew that obviously I wanted to get back playing and obviously I’m back on my feet now and back in.

“I just didn’t feel great after the surgery to be honest,” Rossiter added. “A few days after the surgery I rang the doctor here and said, ‘something’s not right here, I don’t feel great’ because I couldn’t really get out of bed, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t eat. I just didn’t feel great in myself. A few days later I came down here and they took some fluid out of the knee to do some tests and he said, ‘listen you’ve got an infection in your knee’. I think it’s something like a one in 10,000 chance. The surgeon said he’s been doing what he’s been doing for 30 years and that I’m his first ever infection.

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