BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
CALLUM TAPPING reckons he has endured enough injury torment to last him a decade after making his long-awaited Queen of the South comeback following eight months on the sidelines.
The former Hearts youngster has battled persistent knee damage this term, with exploratory surgery required in November, and prior to Saturday’s 25-minute cameo against Falkirk his last outing had come against Dunfermline in August.
It has been a second successive season of fitness woes for Tapping, who was restricted to just 13 appearances last term.
However, the 23-year-old – who revealed that even supporters mocked his injury record – is adamant he has returned stronger than ever.
“It was just brilliant to be back out there,” Tapping told qosfc.co.uk. “I’ve had a really hard time over the last couple of seasons with injuries. Everyone here at Queens – the players the coaches and the club itself – they have all backed me. Hopefully that’s my injuries for the next 10 years gone!
“I’ve even taken stick from the fans in the stand, them saying ‘watch you don’t injure yourself going down the stairs!’ But you take it on the chin.
“I feel good, I feel as physically strong as I have since signing for Queens and hopefully I can kick on now.
“There’s nothing better than being back involved. I’ve been climbing the walls in the changing room and the gym. You watch the boys out there and it’s devastating
“I had a good week’s training before the Falkirk game – but I’d been out for seven-and-a-half months, so the gaffer said he wanted to ease me back in. That 25 minutes was a big chip off my shoulder.
“I felt pretty tired! When you have been out for so long it is tough to get your second wind, but hopefully I can maybe get some more time against Dunfermline.”