Jamie Carragher hopes injury has made him stronger

Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher is hopeful his two-month injury lay-off will allow him to finish the season stronger.

The centre-back celebrated his 33rd birthday in January on the sidelines as he recuperated from an operation on a shoulder dislocated at Tottenham in late November.

However, he returned to action three and a half weeks early in February's victory at Chelsea and has played four of the last five matches.

And while Carragher admits his spell out of the team at one of the busiest times of the year was frustrating he has tried to turn his absence into a plus point.

"You have to look at the positives of an injury in that it gives you a rest and takes you out of the firing line," Carragher told Press Association Sport.

"Maybe you can look back and say 'It's done me good' - but I'd much rather be playing because I love being in the firing line.

"You don't want to be out but sometimes you try to put a silver lining on it and try to kid yourself in your own head because you are devastated when you get injured.

"Any injury comes at a bad time but there were a lot of games when I was injured because it was over Christmas.

"But it has happened now. I have been very lucky with injuries throughout my career and hopefully there won't be too many more.

"Maybe the rest will prove between now and the end of the season that it has helped me."

As the oldest player in Kenny Dalglish's first-team squad, Carragher is aware more than most his days at the highest level are numbered.

But he is keen to carry on playing as long as possible and he pays close attention to his personal fitness.

"You get more mature and have an understanding of how your body works and it is a short career so you have to maximise it as much as possible," he added.

"Fitness was drummed into me when I was growing up and as you get older that becomes more apparent and you have to look after yourself.

"Once you reach 30 people start questioning your fitness or whether you have lost your ability and teams start looking for younger players so you have to look at the fitness side of it."

Carragher's determination to return swiftly helped his speedy recovery, although his surgeon Peter Brownson had to rein him in on occasions.

"The way the medical science side of the game is going now everything is a race to get back as quickly as possible because you want to be on the pitch," said the centre-back.

"When you are playing football you have targets and games to think about but when you are injured you lose that and your focus becomes getting back as quick as possible, that becomes your target.

"It was my nature to push to come back but there was no way Mr Brownson would not have let me come back if it had not been right."

Carragher returned to the £200,000 Bone and Joint Centre at Spire Liverpool Hospital, where he was treated for his recent injury, to officially open the unit last night.

The defender was also presented with a cheque for £3,000 for his 23 Foundation which raises money to benefit the local community.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones