Sam can take it off

Defender Sam Fisher is pleased that he has been given the all clear to play without the protective mask that he has been wearing in training since returning from the facial injury he received in the New Year derby at home to Raith. Sam missed two games in December and had only just returned from a concussion injury so by his own admission he has had a tough eight weeks:-

“It’s just been so stop-start, but I’ve a good week’s training in me now.  I think I said after the Ayr game that I felt fit as anything but, to be fair, I’m naturally relatively quite fit anyway. I came back, did a bit of running, felt fine, and wasn’t too far off it fitness-wise, but it was just getting used to the mask. That was the main thing for me.

“Luckily, I’ve been given the all-clear not to wear the mask anymore. Thursday was the first day without the mask, so I’ve just been doing your heading, clearances, everything you’d expect.  Everything feels back to normal.  If you’re watching Hammy, he struggled to see the ball but you wouldn’t notice it. You wouldn’t think of that impact, but, when you’ve got it on, you’re looking down at your feet and you can barely see the ball because it’s double vision. The bits under your eyes are plastic really – it’s just brutal. I’m buzzing the specialist has given me the green light to take it off now and enjoy playing football better!”

Sam has had his stitches out and his nose reset. His recovery from the concussion that occurred at the same time as his facial injury has taken a little longer and he explained:-

“It was a second concussion, there were protocols and I followed it step-by-step. It was more impactful on my face and all that kind of stuff. I was fine after about a week and a bit. I was back training last week, would’ve been fine to play the game last week if it was on, but obviously the pitch wasn’t looking great, so I managed to get an extra wee bit of running. I’ve got a full week’s training this week as well, so I feel as fit as I can be.  We’ve got a few boys that are back fit as well now, so we’re looking a lot better squad-wise, and I’m feeling a lot fitter myself.”

While the two weeks without matches benefitted Sam it also helped the injury stricken squad. He added:-

“I think you saw from the Queen’s Park game on the telly that we were down to the bare bones really. A couple of boys came off – Azza, Jak – but we’ve got a couple of boys coming back now, maybe even more than a couple, we’ll see how the next couple of days go.  We’re looking back to full strength, obviously taking away the longer-term ones, but we’re looking really strong going into Saturday.”

The 22 year old exuded confidence about his return which could be alongside recent on-loan signing from Cardiff City, Malachi Fagan-Walcott. The pair played together at Dundee and even though Dunfermline have won only one of their last thirteen trips to Tannadice, the Pars can take confidence from last time at Tannadice in the league. Sam recalled Mathew Cudjoe’s last gasp equaliser:-

“It took a 96th minute wonder strike from the boy, to be fair, to get an equaliser. I thought we did really well in the game, looking back on it but this is a game we’re looking forward to. Obviously, it was a really good turn out there from both sets of fans last time because I think it was their opening league game in the stadium, and Dunfermline fans travelled in their numbers.  I’m sure it’ll be a good one.”

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