Promising midfielder Josh Barresi has made his first steps towards a recovery from his season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury, by running for the first time since his operation 16 weeks ago.
The exciting 19-year-old suffered a torn ACL that required reconstructive surgery, during a pre-season friendly against Juventus in August last year but is making progress on his road to fitness.
“I’m about 16 weeks post-operation, and I ran for the first time on Thursday,” said Barresi.
“I wanted to come here and make an impression sort of thing, show everyone that I’m capable of playing in the A-League, and contributing to the team and helping them win.”
Barresi had signed on for the Jets in July, after missing a lot of the 2013-14 season with Western Sydney through a fractured back.
Despite both these setbacks at such a young age, Barresi has shown experience beyond his years by maintaining a positive outlook through this rehabilitation and the early stages of his career.
“I fractured my back when I was 18…I was out for three months, but I’ve never had an injury this major, this is pretty full on.
“But these things happen and you sort of just got to take it positively, I didn’t actually take it that badly, I just thought ‘this will give me a chance to rebuild my body and come back stronger next year’ and hopefully help the Newcastle Jets succeed.”
The attacking midfielder has credited part of this mature mindset to the support of his teammates, who have had to deal with their fair share of injuries this season as well.
“It’s all really good, there’s actually a lot of really good boys at the club who help me out, and help me go forward,” said Barresi.
“I always talk to my roommate Scott Neville, or there’s plenty of boys like Mitch Cooper, Billy Celeski, Ben Kantarovski, all these boys have all been through it before.
“They all really help to guide me through, and try and keep my head straight if I’m ever having an off day, or they’ll tell me exactly how to do an exercise with the technique, so it’s a positive thing.”
As for the future, Barresi is not looking too far ahead with his immediate attention being on the completion of his rehabilitation and his integration back into football.
“(The physiotherapist) said we should aim to be back in nine to 12 months,” said Barresi.
“I’ve done four months now, so I’m hoping to get back in five months and get a full pre-season in with the team and hopefully play at the start of next year.
“From there, just baby steps. We’ll see how I go in the youth team and get some game time then try and break into the first team.”