Gilbey hopes his tough times are nearing an end
From cabin fever to listening to Joe Walsh talk about his Wales team-mates, the last three months spent in the MK Dons treatment room has been tough for Alex Gilbey.
After months of knee trouble and pain-killing injections, the 23-year-old decided enough was enough on February 3 after playing in the 1-0 defeat to Walsall.
Heading to a specialist, Gilbey was told his knee cartilage problems required surgery and that his lay-off would be lengthy - estimated up to a year on the sidelines.
Watching on, Gilbey watched Dons' troubles on the field worsen before relegation was confirmed on Saturday. He'd be returning to a League 2 side next season.
But last Tuesday marked 11 weeks since his surgery, and with another meeting with the specialist next week, Gilbey is hoping for some good news.
"Hopefully the specialist will tell me I'll be on the pitch sooner rather than later," he said. "It'll be around Christmas, but hopefully we'll beat that. I'll be in every day over the summer to get stronger and kick on.
"At first, I didn't think it was going to be a long term injury, but the specialist went in and had a look and told me it needed a long time to recover. Now I'm back on my feet and back in the gym it doesn't seem too bad, but fingers crossed it will be good news next week.
"It has been mentally tough, in the first few weeks I was all over the place, coming to grips with the injury and coming to terms with where were in the league. But it's over now, hopefully we can all draw a line in the sand, obviously that's easier said than done.
"It didn't really hit me until a week after. I was still high on all the drugs they were giving me! It was hard to watch football matches on TV, or coming here and watching games. But it is what it is, I've had to move on from it, I just need to concentrate on getting fit again.
"Even though I was injured, I knew I had to come in every day, remain upbeat and keep the boys going. I didn't want to take all my moods out on the lads, but it was good to get out of the house.
"It has been really tough, especially listening to Joe Walsh tell me he's friends with Gareth Bale..!"