Fredrick Obomate suffered a career-threatening injury back in October, and had to go under the knife to correct a fracture in one of his legs.

He wowed plenty with his uncompromising, all action style which saw him scoop the award as the NPFL’s Best Player in the opening month of the last campaign.

The midfielder played an important role in helping Rivers United finish as runners up behind eventual champions, Enugu Rangers in last season’s NPFL title race. 

However, his performances waned noticeably towards the close of last season as a result of the injury he sustained and had to go for surgery.

While explaining how it started, team doctor, Chukwuemeka Agi said the player is still lucky to be an active professional footballer after the injury.

“Obomate Frederick complained about pain in his leg and when we investigated and examined it, we realized it might have been as a result of overuse. So we asked him to run some investigations which he did and what it revealed was that one of the leg bones had an incomplete fracture/break which we refer to as a stress fracture in medical terms. 

“It is something that occurs from overuse so he was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Bob Yellowe who also examined him and asked for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test. With those in place, he was able to treat him, giving both drugs and putting him on Plaster of Paris (POP) to ensure that the leg was well-rested. 

“He subsequently improved. This injury occurred between late October and early December, 2016. He was on POP for close to two months before rehabilitation commenced. Some players never return from such kinds of injuries because the incomplete fracture becomes complete because of overuse. 

“However, in his own case, it healed properly and completely. Obomate is now out of the woods and is now able to assist the team,” Dr Agi concluded. 

The player himself was excited to play in the Match Day 12 encounter of the Nigeria Professional League against champions, Enugu Rangers on Sunday, making his first appearance of the season for United, and coming on as a second half substitute.

“I felt very happy making a return to the team. I felt very excited and believe I am the luckiest person on earth.

“The severity of the injury made me think at some point that it was all over for me as a professional footballer.

“The orthopaedic surgeon had told me before he commenced treatment that my chances of making a return to professional football was very slim but I thank God I have made a successful return.”

Rivers United host El Merreikh in the CAF Champions League on Sunday, and Obomate will be hoping to feature in that encounter.