After a nightmare season with illness and injury, new Mansfield Town signing Dion Donohue will not be rushing to play before he is fully fit.
But the former Portsmouth and Chesterfield utility man believes he will be ready in time for the big kick-off in just over three weeks – and can’t wait.
Donohue, 25, chose to sign for Stags over offers from League One clubs this week and wants to quickly erase the memories of last season and help his new club to promotion glory.
“I had glandular fever towards the start of pre-season last year,” he said.
“I don’t know if you know anyone who’s had it but it’s not a nice thing to have. I think that then had a knock-on effect as I was trying to catch everyone up.
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“I had missed out on the pre-season and I was trying to rush back. But every time I came back I got thrown straight back into the team.
“Obviously I want to be playing as much as possible but I think I tried to do a bit too much too soon which resulted in me breaking down a couple of times.
“Thankfully I am over that now and I am raring to go.”
He continued: “I feel fit now, but the last thing I want to do is rush straight back into it.
“I have had a conversation with the physio and the manager and the main thing for me is to make sure when I do get back that I am 100 per cent and don’t break down again. But I am champing at the bit to get going.
“The next couple of weeks are going to be massive.
“We have got just over three weeks until the season starts and I have no doubt that when those three weeks are over I will be ready to go.”
Stags boss John Dempster said: “We will start to build his fitness up from today and that will be a gradual process.
“We don’t want him to pick up any of the injuries he suffered last season, which were too prominent if we’re being honest. He has had his medical.
“Our physio has been very thorough with him and we are confident, when we get him fully fit in the next couple of weeks, he will play a big part for us.
“He will be straight into it, but it’s important we build the load up gradually so when it comes to the start of the season he is 100 per cent fit.”