Gladwin considered retirement during his two-year injury nightmare
After spending more than two years on the treatment table, Ben Gladwin admitted he considered retiring from football.
Nearly 800 days separated his last game for Blackburn Rovers on November 7 2017, and his debut for MK Dons against Coventry on January 11 2020 as a series of knee injuries threatened to call time on his career.
After two surgeries and a lot of rehab, Gladwin said he considered taking an early retirement but his love for the game kept him going through the hardest of times.
"There are a lot of ups and downs," he said. "You have good days, and a lot more bad days I guess. You do think about chucking it in, especially when I got the last setback, and being told I needed another operation. It goes through your head. But when it's something you love doing so much, and you cannot imagine not doing it, you give everything to get back.
"It has been a while, and there were a few setbacks along the way. I think it was 790 days between games, but it was good just bring out there and trying to find my feet again and doing what I love every day.
"I've got to thank everyone at Blackburn – the medical team was amazing. I've come here and everyone has been great as well. I'm glad I'm in the position I'm in now, so I hope I can kick on and get going."
The 27-year-old has made three cameo appearances from the bench, amounting 44 minutes in his first week at the club. Though, by his own admission, he is not back to match-fitness yet, Gladwin feels his performances will only improve as he finds his feet again, and feels he can add to the squad.
He said: "At Coventry I was a bit tired... after 30 seconds! It is coming. I'm obviously not at the level I want to be at. There is a lot to come, but after two years out I think it will take a little while but I'm enjoying just being out on the pitch, trying to contribute and get back to where I was.
"I've had enough Saturdays watching results come in! After the first few games, my legs will probably appreciate it but I want to keep going.
"I think I can bring creation, I know how the manager and Luke want to play. I'm just trying to play good football and slot into that process and do my bit."