Scott Fraser has spoken about the issues he had after contracting Covid – with the fact that the Charlton Athletic midfielder is asthmatic an extra concern.
The 26-year-old Scot signed for the Addicks in the January transfer window on a permanent deal from Ipswich Town.
And Fraser missed three matches at the start of February after coming down with the virus.
He had only made two second-half substitute appearances for the South Londoners before feeling unwell in the 2-1 loss at Bolton Wanderers.
Fraser has made four successive starts for Charlton and played 81 minutes in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Burton Albion.
Asked about his fitness levels, he said: “I’m getting there. I’ve still had problems with it [Covid]. I think being asthmatic hasn’t helped – in terms of the breathing situation. But I’ve been to the specialist and done all the checks. It’s about me keep on working hard in training and games, getting that sharpness back week by week.
“I’ve done very well to avoid it for the past two years. I’ve had pals who have had it and said they were struggling. But I thought being a young lad I’ll be fine.
“When I got it, it was the Bolton game. I came on and I was getting quite sharp pains in my chest. By the end of the game – going out doing the running afterwards as the subs do – it was to the point where I couldn’t stand up properly. I went to get the test on Thursday and it came back positive. From the Thursday until probably the following Wednesday I was bedbound.
“When you’re asthmatic and play football you know that the doctors and physios are a bit more worried. When they are telling me I needed to go and get checked by specialists you’re thinking ‘Jesus’. But I’ve done the checks and thankfully all clear.”
Charlton moved 13 points clear of League One’s relegation zone after their result at the weekend. It means that they are set to make it a mid-table finish.
But Fraser is adamant that there is still plenty at stake.
“When you’re at a football club there is always something to play for,” he said. “I know there are a lot of boys out of contract and loan boys who either want to stay here or get a move elsewhere. The boys who are here, we want to build the momentum going into next season – I’m sure the gaffer wants to do that as well.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re getting players back [and getting better results] – three or four of us missed the [poor] run of form we were in previously. If you take three or four good players out of any team in this league they would struggle.”
“Credit to them [Burton], in terms of their press – they came with a lot of energy. We tried to get the ball down and play but maybe at times it wasn’t on. We got to grips with that probably 10 minutes before half time and played a lot smarter.”
Charlton’s first goal saw Craig MacGillivray launch a long kick for Conor Washington to race on to and lob Ben Garratt.
“Anyone who watches us a lot will know it’s something we work on,” said Fraser. “Conor is a willing runner, very fast, and Macca has done unbelievably well to see him and put the ball into the space for him.
“They are a dangerous team from set-pieces – corners, throw-ins and free-kicks – they look to throw it into the box any chance that they get.
“I said at half time that a couple of weeks ago we’d have gone 1-0 down when they had their spell launching the ball into the box. But we stood up, man for man, and did very well.”
MAIN PICTURE: PAUL EDWARDS
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