Jake Forster-Caskey has vowed to come back stronger from his second ACL injury – and admits the tribute of the Charlton players made him emotional.
The midfielder suffered damage to his left knee in last week’s 3-1 win over Lincoln City and is not expected to be back in first-team action until December or the start of 2022.
But Charlton manager Nigel Adkins has made it clear that the club will support Forster-Caskey, who is out of contract at the end of June.
Forster-Caskey was voted the Addicks’ Player of the Year for the 2020-21 season and showed off his award at The Valley on Sunday.
Charlton’s players all wore T-shirts with his initials and squad number on the front to show their support in the warm-up.
Forster-Caskey told Charlton TV: “It choked me a little bit. It was amazing. It is a special club – the boys are amazing and the fans are amazing. I really do love this club.
“I’ve been through it before [ACL damage to his right knee] and come back a better player. I have no doubt I’ll come back a better player again. I’m not someone who shys away from a challenge, and I won’t shy away from this one.
“I came to this club probably a boy back in 2017 and I’m definitely a man now – the previous injury made me stronger and I know this one will. I’m sure the club will support me through this and I will definitely repay the club. Hopefully there are many more years to come.
“I’m probably going to miss the first few months of the season. My focus is to get fit and make a real impact next season. I’m quite a confident lad. I know I’ll come back and make an impact next season.
“I’m gutted I can’t be out there with the boys but delighted to win this trophy and very thankful to the fans for voting for me.
“Especially with the tough road I had as well previously doing this injury [before] the fans supported me and helped me get back. I’ve worked so hard to drive this club forward. To pick up this trophy is very special.
“My overall game has definitely improved this season – on the ball people didn’t have many queries but off the ball some people did.”
Alan Curbishley, a pundit on Charlton TV, said: “Since I’ve been doing this he has been outstanding. What I like about him is he sees that pass, which is great if you’re an attacking player, but he can nick a goal as well.
“We had a player last season who didn’t want to play, because he was out of contract in the summer, Jake has played and he has got injured – that’s a totally different situation. Hopefully he gets the medical side done properly and he’s back before he is saying.
“I think he’ll be back before then.”
MAIN PICTURE: PAUL EDWARDS
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