No hard feelings as Potter moves closer to Oxford United comeback

9:10am Friday 24th January 2014

By David Pritchard

ALFIE Potter says he no longer holds a grudge against the Bristol Rovers player who caused the worst injury of the Oxford United winger’s career.

The 25-year-old is running again and on course to make a playing return within the next month.

It is encouraging news for Potter, who has been ruled out since the start of November with ruptured ankle ligaments following a tackle by Tom Lockyer in the 1-0 defeat at the Kassam Stadium.

United’s visit to Rovers next month is likely to come too soon for Potter, but he says there is no bad blood with the defender, who was booked for the challenge.

“It was a late tackle, but he didn’t mean it,” Potter said.

“I think you do bear a grudge for a little while but I’m over it now. It happens.

“It won’t be a lasting thing if I ever play against him again.”

Potter needed surgery to repair the damage and the healing process has been painfully slow at times.

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The U’s star admits it had been worse than two seasons ago, when a broken ankle ruled him out for the second half of the campaign.

He said: “With that one I knew my season was finished, so I just switched off.

“I could take my time getting it right because I had all the summer.

“But with this one it didn’t come at the best time and I want to come back as soon as possible, but at the same time I’ve had to make sure it’s right.

“The main thing is getting out on the grass.

“You spend so much time in the gym that it starts to affect you, but when you get out on the grass you know you’re nearly there.

“It’s been just under three months, so I’m sure three weeks will fly by.”

Since the injury, the berth on United’s right flank has been taken by Fulham loanee Ryan Williams.

Potter has been impressed with the 20-year-old and does not expect to just walk back into the starting line-up when fit.

He said: “Ryan’s a great outlet for the team when you’ve got someone that quick and you can give them the ball.

“He’s a pleasure to watch.

“All I can do is train as hard as I can, try to get back to how I was playing before and it’s up to the manager then.”

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