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Back on the Grass | An Interview with Jon Shaw

After sustaining a broken rib and a punctured lung at the beginning of January, Jon Shaw made his return to action starring in a 2-0 away win at Sheffield FC on Saturday. With a clean sheet in the bag and three points to go with it, we sat down with the veteran defender to discuss the injury and his recovery since the incident.

Shaw's return to action was perhaps quicker than himself or anyone else could have imagined. It seemed to be a seamless transition back into the Starting XI at Sheffield on Saturday. We asked Jon how he was feeling after playing yesterday for the first time since suffering the nasty injury at the start of the year.

"I was not as bad as I thought I would be but, I did have Tez and Jude either side of me working hard and I thought the whole team put a shift in. James Anderson was claiming crosses when needed as well. It made my first game back a positive one."

It wasn't your typical injury that you would commonly see on a football pitch back on January 2nd. Jon went into detail about what happened during the away game at Consett which led to his spell on the side-lines.

"At Consett, I was stepping onto a free header from their goal kick and Scott Fenwick, who had been jumping into the lads and making a nuisance of himself which you expect, was coming in late. So I raised my arm to protect myself and he steamed into my ribs.

"I don't mind a bit of a physical challenge but, I was frustrated at the referee for not giving me the foul. As I walked away, I could feel a lot of movement around my ribs, so I assumed it was broken.

 "At half-time, I couldn't get comfortable or move around without it being too painful so Lewis Black (Club Physio) told Swaz to bring me off.  After the game, I went to the hospital and they found that I had a broken rib which had punctured and collapsed my lung so I spent the next three days in hospital with a chest tube."

After suffering the setback, Jon would need to rest and begin his recovery process which he discussed with us.

"The recovery hasn't been too bad, the first ten days weren't great though. I couldn't really move around without being in pain so I spent a lot of time sat upright, sleeping upright at night, full of strong pain killers and watching TV and falling asleep regularly through the day.

Image: Kelvin Shell"After around two weeks, it wasn't too painful. I was up and moving around and starting to dress myself which pleased my wife I'm sure. Coughing and sneezing wasn't very fun either and after three to four weeks, I was back to work. Over the last two weeks, I have started running and training, just wanting to get back playing as soon as possible."

Since the incident, Jon has received a lot of well wishes and people checking in on him which he truly appreciates and the support hasn't went unnoticed by the Dunston defender.

"The messages at times like that are quite humbling, you find out that a lot more people care than you maybe think. I appreciated every single one of them and the people that came to see me.

"The club were fantastic, the lads put a gift together for me and my family, and Mal stayed in touch throughout so yeah, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and hopefully nothing like that will happen again."

To finish up, we asked Jon about the win yesterday and what it means with just 12 games remaining in the league campaign. A win that sees us maintain our 5th place position in the league as we currently occupy the final play-off spot.

"Yesterday was a good win after a tough result in midweek. It was another tough pitch and although I'm a big believer that there aren't many teams that can match us on a decent pitch from a football sense, we have to be able to mix it and win games at this stage of the season with all pitches now suffering after a tough Winter. But, we've shown that we can do that.

"After the Sheffield game, our focus is on cementing the play-off place and fighting for results like this until the end of the season. There's enough ability, youth and experience in the club to get over the line and we are confident we can do that."

Our next league game is this Saturday (February 18th) when we welcome fellow play-off chasing Stockton Town to The UTS Stadium. Before that, we welcome National League North side Spennymoor Town to The UTS Stadium this Tuesday (February 14th) in a crucial Durham Challenge Cup Semi-Final clash. Tickets for Tuesday's game are priced at adults (£5), concessions (£3) and under 16's (£1).

Your support is valuable and we hope to see you get down to cheer on Jon Shaw and the rest of the lads for both games!

By Callum Pattison

Published Sunday 12th February 2023