Surgery does trick for poor Lee's knees
FOURTEEN months out of football during Forres Mechanics' last title triumph, Lee Fraser isn't allowing his latest injury setback to get him down.
Cruciate and cartilage surgery will keep the 25-year-old Cans' striker on the sidelines until next season, but he is finally on the road to recovery.
Lee and his twin brother Graham recently signed a new three-year extension to their Mechanics' contracts keeping them at the club for a well-deserved testimonial.
And while Graham successfully came back from a cruciate operation last season, Lee is determined to do the same and pick up his Forres career in the not-too-distant future.
"I've had injuries before and I've came back from it," he said.
"This club does look after you when you're injured, and I was happy to sign another contract."
Back in 2012 the bustling front man was heading for 20 goals by Christmas during a campaign which would end with Forres being crowned champs, when disaster struck. A training injury shattered his left kneecap and he not only missed his team's title run-in, but also a Scottish Cup tie against his favourite team Rangers the following season.
He gradually battled back to action and was again rattling in the goals for Mechanics last term when he was struck down by an even worse injury.
"It was home to Deveronvale in January and I went up for a header, the ball landed to the left of me and I went to turn and ended up in a heap. That was me, straight off and I've not touched a ball since.
"I was referred through for a scan and it was a fair shock to learn there were three things wrong with it. I had torn cartilage, torn my cruciate and there was a chip or a bruise in the femur bone, which I think eventually healed itself.
"So now I've had both knees operated on. It's going to be a long process, and probably the middle of next season before I'm fully fit.
"The chance of a testimonial at the age of 27 is great for me but the main thing is to get back playing."
The Burghead lad had a frustrating eight-month wait for an operation he knew would keep him on the sidelines for the best part of another year.
Now he is off crutches, undergoing physio and doing gym work in an effort to speed up the long process of recovery.
"The time before the operation was the worst because I felt I was getting nowhere in that eight months. It is quite depressing sitting in the stand while everyone else is playing but I've been through it all before and know what to expect.
"The team's been doing quite well but I don't like not being involved and I know things are heading in the right direction now."