Despite being out for the last month with a knee injury Darren Potter has been busy behind-the-scenes at MK Dons as he put pen to paper on a new contract.
The 30-year-old signed an extension to his current deal which will see him wearing a Dons shirt until the end of next season. The club also have an option to extend the deal for a further year after that.
His time on the sidelines of late allowed negotiations to go off without a hitch, in a deal manager Karl Robinson described as one of the easiest he’s ever been a part of.
For Potter too, it was a no-brainer.
“It’s one I’m very happy about it,” he said. “It didn’t take long to think about it. I’m happy here, I’m happy to be playing my football here so it was an easy decision to make.
“As a player and as a person, you get to a stage when you’re seen as an experienced pro. I think I’ve got to that stage now.
“I’ve been quite a vital part of the squad in recent years, but we’ve got a lot of younger players now and not many of the experienced players.”
While the rest of the squad boarded the coach bound for Huddersfield ahead of tomorrow night’s game, Potter returned to the gym as part of his rehabilitation programme to get him back to full fitness.
In the past, Potter admits he has rushed back in order to help the team. But with Diego Poyet and Jake Forster-Caskey holding their own in the Dons engine room of late, the former Sheffield Wednesday man says he wants to take his time and ensure he’s fully fit again before returning to the pitch.
He said: “Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the beast sometimes.
“That has been the case for me in the past and I’ve rushed back and paid the penalty in the end. We’ve been careful this time and hopefully be the end of it.
“I’ve been out for the best part of a month but I feel I’m coming along well. Rehab has been going really well, progressing just the way I want to be.
“Spending too much time out is never good, because you end up over-thinking, and you don’t feel part of the squad watching from the stands.
“It has been a taxing month. I’ve been here at 10.30am and not getting home until 7pm. I know that’s normal for most people, but it’s different for someone in our industry. It’s a lot of hours trying to get back fit again.
“Jake and Diego have been great. Jake has performed really well. He’s a bit different to myself and Diego in that he gets forward a bit more, he’s made things happen and has looked really good.”
And though watching from the sidelines isn’t one of Potter’s favourite pass-times, he has been impressed by what he has seen from Dons in his absence and feels the 3-0 win over Blackburn on Saturday was what they deserved.
He said: “The results haven’t matched our performances. I think the lads have been magnificent but haven’t got the just rewards.
“But getting three goals and a clean sheet certainly made up for it. Obviously the sending off helped, but the game was there for us.”