Niko Kranjcar has been sidelined since October
The 32-year-old Croatian international has been sidelined since October after rupturing his cruciate ligament in training.
However, the support of Kranjcar’s family and friends gave him the determination to keep going. He now hopes to be back in full training in May and fully fit for pre-season.
Kranjcar, above, said: “The recovery process has been a nightmare. This is definitely the worst injury I have ever had.
“The longest I had been out before was probably two months.
Kranjcar admits his injury woes almost drove him into early retirement
“It is a long road and it is quite lonely. It has its ups and downs.
“The easiest thing to do is give up, but once you start your rehab there is always a voice in your head telling you to get through it. It is not easy.
“There are days when you watch a game and you’re not involved, so it is hard and you just wish you could play.
“I have great support at home from my missus and my whole family and all of my friends.
“It is frustrating, but I have the motivation to come back as good as I was before the injury, so I guess that is something which keeps me going.”
Kranjcar, who signed a two-year deal when he joined the Light Blues last summer, revealed that it was an innocuous incident that put him out for the rest of the campaign.
He told Rangers TV: “My foot got stuck while I was doing a dribble and I went over on my knee and unfortunately ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament.
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“My rehab is going quite well. I am doing fitness work outside on the pitch and a lot of gym work.
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“Touch wood, come May, hopefully I can join in with the lads and do a full session, but the goal is to be fit for next season.
“You have to be patient with these injuries and it is really important to have it 100 per cent before I start doing any harder work.
“For the first three months you are working on your strength and building up the muscle because it goes away quite fast.
“After that you do turning and then some harder stuff like jumps and change of direction. And in the latter stages of the rehab you do ball work.”