It’s been a difficult few seasons for Curtis Jones professionally, with the young Liverpool midfielder breaking into the first team as one of the club’s most promising youngsters only to be set back by a series of injuries that have stalled his development.
Still just 22 years old, there’s still plenty of time for the local academy product to come good, but after making 34 appearances in the 2020-21 season, expectations were for Jones to be a first team fixture two seasons later and that so far hasn’t happened.
“I’ve been out for 15 weeks and it’s been an up-and-down time,” Jones said of his latest spell on the sidelines following his first start in the league since October on Tuesday against Chelsea. “I was steady, I was keeping the ball, I wasn’t trying to do too much.
“It was good to be out there with the team and I’ll see what the rest of the season looks like. The more I play, the better I am. As I said, it’s been a hard time but now I’m back, so I’m excited. It’s been a difficult time for myself and the whole of the team.”
As for Jones’ injury struggles, the midfielder revealed that he has been dealing with an unusual and reoccurring injury, a stress response from a now long-healed bone fracture that has required ongoing management with the issue flaring up intermittently.
“It’s a stress response on the bone,” he noted. “It’s still the same thing. It’s kind of just going and coming back. It’s frustrating. It’s something where they have said it is something they have never seen before. It came back three times, so it’s been a hard time.
“But the staff have handled it well and there is a specialist on board now so we just follow the plan. You just have to rest it. In terms of the pain and stuff now, that’s gone. But then, when I had a run of games where I played five we all thought it’d gone.”
Hopefully, this time around and with the help of a specialist to deal with it, the issue is fully and finally gone—or at least in the background and can continue to be managed to avoid more flare-ups and to allow Jones’ development to hopefully continue.
“I’ve not had luck really but I’ve not really had the chance where I can come into the team and play,” he added. “The situation the team is in and no cup games where I can maybe come in and play is hard, but I’m back and happy so we’ll see.”