Seamus Coleman insists he has “no fear (he) won’t be coming back the same player” from his broken leg.
And while the Blues defender admits he’ll have tough days during his rehabilitation, he knows he’s “still got the best job in the world”.
The 28-year-old returned to USM Finch Farm this week to begin his road to recovery, having suffered a double leg break while skippering the Republic of Ireland against Wales on 9 March.
Coleman has been back in the gym and pool at the Club’s training ground after undergoing successful surgery. And while he acknowledges he will need plenty of patience before he puts on an Everton shirt again, the right-back has no concerns about getting back out on the pitch.
“I think patience will be the hard bit,” he admitted in an exclusive interview on Friday’s The Everton Show. “I’ve read different articles. I’ve no fear I won’t be coming back the same player, there’s none of that nonsense. I know I’ll be back, I won’t be afraid of my first tackle or anything like that - that’s not a problem for me, psychologically.
“I think the time will be the [difficult] one for me, because you’re used to playing every week and training every day. But it’s part and parcel of it and you just have to get on with it.
“The journey back started the day the operation was done. Once that had been done and everything went well, with the support of my family and the people here and back home, I knew I could start that journey.
“It will be tough at times but I’m looking forward to the challenge. It hasn’t been smooth for me to get where I am now and this is another little challenge. I’ll have good and bad days but I’ve still got the best job in the world.”
Coleman also spoke for the first time about the moment he know he had broken his leg during Ireland’s World Cup qualifier with Wales in Dublin.
He said: “I knew instantly (it was a serious injury). I had never broken a bone in my life but my initial thought was to just hold it and make sure nobody would try to take a quick free-kick or anything like that.
“It was a case of trying to stay calm and look after it until the doctor came on. When he came on, I told him it’s broken and I’m sure he probably knew as well. Once I knew they had it under control, I think the pain started to hit me then.
“I’ve watched it all back. There are some players that wouldn’t want to but I think it’s best to just get it out of the way. I’ve seen the footage and the pictures, I’ve got over all of that. Obviously, it wasn’t nice - but it happened."
Coleman added: “There will be a lot of treatment as well to help the swelling, but the pain has gone and that’s a massive bonus. I’m quite upbeat at the minute.
“I am looking forward to going back to Goodison again. I would prefer to be going back and putting my boots on, but it’ll be good to go to the game, seeing the lads and supporting them. I’ve been supporting them from home and things have been going well at the moment.”