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Bakes on his way back!

3 March 2016

It’s just over two months to the day since Carl Barker suffered an ankle injury which has kept the midfielder out of action, but the winger is edging closer to a return.

Last season's Player of the Year has not featured since the first half of the Dons’ Sky Bet Championship draw with Leeds United, when he damaged ligaments in his ankle under a challenge from defender Sam Byron.

“I was about to shoot, I had my body weight on my left foot and he's gone through my left leg and I've rolled the ankle,” Baker told MK Citizen. “I knew it was bad straight away.

“I thought it was in my knee or shin because that's where he caught me but Si (Simon Crampton) said straight away it was my ankle. When I got back to the dressing room I knew it was my ankle because it started throbbing and swelling up.

“I saw a surgeon but fortunately he told me I didn't need surgery - that would have left me out for 12 weeks and I couldn't imagine anything worse. I was so disappointed, that was a bit of a lift when they said I didn't need the surgery.

“Everyone goes into a new year setting your targets and so did I - I wanted to make a good clean push to the end of the season but my plans were out the window on January 2nd.”

He continued: “It has been difficult. It has been a long process and there have been days where I'm really down and like I'm never going to get better, when I've been out running on my own, or in the gym on my own.

"There a lot of lonely hours in the gym but you've just got to get through it - you've just got to stay positive.”

After two months of tireless work in the gym and in the treatment room, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Baker, who is nearing a return to training with a first-team comeback on the horizon too.

“I'm feeling really good. I've been back doing a lot of running and each day we've been stepping it up. The rest of the lads are excited for me to be back too and it’s great to hear that from your team-mates.

“Just being able to put my boots back on and being out on the turf are the things I've been thankful for, the things people take for granted.

“I'm not far away now and hopefully I'll be out training with the lads again soon – I'm absolutely desperate to get back.”

Not only do Baker’s team-mates want him back in the side but the supporters at stadiummk will also be pleased to see the man who has scored five goals this season back on the pitch, and the winger is eager to repay the fans for their support during his time on the sidelines.

“They've been really great to me,” he added. “It makes you want to score and win games for them - pay them back.

“When you get the messages on Twitter, or when people see you in the street and tell you how much they want to see you back, who isn't going to like hearing that? It's little things like that that help drive you on, it's what you go through the hard sessions for.”

Read the full interview with Baker in Thursday's edition of MK Citizen or by clicking here.

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