Now defender targets first-team action after recovering from same career threatening back injury as tennis ace
The New Zealand international made his first appearance since September as a substitute in last week’s draw at Norwich after undergoing surgery on a career threatening back problem.
“Matt [Byard, head physio] had not dealt with the type of injury I had before so he sought out Andy Murray’s physio,” explained Tommy in an interview in Saturday’s matchday programme.
“He [Murray] had the same operation as me so Matt spoke to his physio and got some advice about the early rehab and that was a great help in getting me back to where I am today. It was good thinking by Matt as well.
“I’ve got to manage it going forward. Murray’s physio told me to avoid long runs so that might impact on my pre-season. I might have to do shorter runs and look at cycling and swimming as well. They are good for me long term. I’m doing a lot of pilates as well and I’ll be carrying that on for the rest of my career.
“It was a shock when the specialist said there was a 10 per cent chance I wouldn’t play again but once the operation was done, my focus was totally on doing my rehab and getting back playing again.”
In an exclusive and in-depth interview with Tommy in the match programme for the Brentford game, he talks about the road back to recovery, why he’s got to win over the New Zealand fans on his return to international football and why March is big month for him on and off the pitch.