Port Vale: Owen reveals injury frustrations
GARETH Owen admits this season has been the most frustrating of his career.
The Cheadle-born centre-half struggled with Achilles and groin injuries for much of the first part of the campaign, which resulted in him having hernia surgery in November.
But the 29-year-old has been unable to shrug off his injury jinx, suffering a foot problem and then breaking his hand in training this week.
Owen's latest setback is likely to rule him out of today's trip to Rotherham United (3pm).
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"I just want to be fit and do everything at full pace," said Owen. "With these injuries you sometimes can't react as quickly as you want and when I kept needing stitches in my foot I couldn't strike the ball properly.
"I'll be the first to admit that the injuries have affected me all season, but I don't want to make excuses.
"The injuries are stacking up and I probably haven't done myself justice at times, but you don't mind going through the pain barrier for the benefit of the club."
Despite his injury woes Owen's strong resolve means he has still started 21 out of Vale's 26 league matches.
He added: "I wouldn't say it's been the toughest season of my career, but I think it's been the most frustrating because I've stumbled from one problem to the next.
"Nobody wants to be considered as injury-prone, but if you look at my injuries they've been caused in freak circumstances.
"It's been mentally tough at times, but you have to stay strong, keep going and hope for a bit of luck."
FORMER Vale striker Guy Madjo has joined League Two Aldershot on an 18-month deal from Stevenage for an undisclosed five-figure fee.
Madjo scored four goals in six games during his loan spell, including a hat-trick against his new club.