New Stevenston kickboxer Jamie McGinnis has vowed to be back in action quicker than Arsenal and England winger Theo Walcott.
Both men have recently undergone knee surgery repair for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
World amateur light champion McGinnis hoped he would be able to make his in-ring comeback over the summer prior to going under the knife on December 23.
But now with Walcott having suffered the same injury playing against Tottenham Hotspur, which will rule him out for the rest of the season and the World Cup finals in Brazil, McGinnis has added motivation.
McGinnis only spent one night in Glasgow’s Victoria Hospital following his operation, and with movement returning to his knee is counting up all the little milestones like points in a fight.
He said: “The operation seemed to go fine, there was no hidden surprises when they opened me up so it was a relatively simple procedure.
“They have grafted a patella tendon to repair the damage, normally they would use a hamstring tendon, but given the sport I do it was decided to go with something stronger.
“I was able to go home on Christmas Eve which I was delighted about and meant that I was able to spend Christmas at home, I wasn’t of much use, but as least I was with my family rather than being stuck on a ward.
“The recovery has been going well, I had 17 staples in my knee to close up the wound caused by the surgery, and they are now out and have started on hydrotherapy and physiotherapy.
“The hydrotherapy is used to get the knee bending, while the physiotherapy builds up the leg, and it seems to be working as I’m getting stronger every day.
“I went for an appointment with my consultant Colin Walker last week and he seems to be happy with the progress I’m making.
“I can fully bend and extend my leg, which I’m told at this stage is really good, and that just brings out the competitor in me.
“If there is a target in my recovery schedule then I want to beat it, whether it’s bending my leg or walking unaided, I want to do it earlier and quicker than anyone has before.
“You look at Theo Walcott getting the same injury and that just gives me an extra edge as I know for sure that I want to get back in action long before him, by the time he sets foot back on a football pitch I want to have already competed in the ring.”
The only fly in the recovery ointment may a hip injury identified in a recent MRI scan.
McGinnis is set for a consultation about it on Wednesday, January 29, but hopeful it’s not too serious.