COVENTRY star David Busst has taken the first steps on the road to recovery from an injury which was so horrific it left Manchester United keeper Peter Schmeichel in need of counselling.
Defender Busst, whose right leg was shattered in Coventry's clash with United at Old Trafford last season, has started physiotherapy aimed at building up the muscles after 14 operations.
'The specialist told me if it had happened 20 years ago I would have probably lost my leg,' revealed Busst.
'Quite simply, the technology would not have been around in those days to cope with the problem.' His injury was a sickening sight with newspaper pictures showing the shattered shin bone sticking through his sock. Busst has had his leg rebuilt by a plastic surgeon and is confident he will be able to play again, with April pencilled in for a return to training.
Busst said: 'I remember going up for a corner flicked on by Noel Whelan and thinking I had a good chance of scoring. The next thing I knew, I'd taken a shattering blow to my leg and keeled over.
'I didn't look down as I knew something serious had happened. I was conscious all the time and remember screaming to our physio to do something. It was quite harrowing at the time.
'I knew I'd broken my leg but didn't know how bad it was. I never saw the angle of the break. It was only later people told me the leg was L-shaped. Even now I can't look at the incident on video or photographs.
'I understand Peter Schmeichel was horrified at seeing something like that, which was a natural reaction. I believe he had trouble sleeping afterwards and had a couple of counselling sessions.' Busst claims he has never lost the belief he will eventually be able to play again.
He said: 'I am an optimist. I don't think 'maybe it won't turn out for the best'. Football is in my blood and I just want to get back to fitness and playing again.'