It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a season to remember for Derby County this term under the management of Wayne Rooney.
The Rams only survived on the final day of the Championship season, as they drew 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday in a dramatic match that was full of twists and turns in the 2020/21 season finale.
One player that missed a large section of this year’s campaign was Krystian Bielik, with the 23-year-old picking up the second ACL injury of his career to date.
The Polish international made 13 senior appearances in all competitions for the Rams this term, before being forced off after 36 minutes against Bristol City.
Speaking in an interview with Derby’s Rampage Magazine (quotes sourced from Derbyshire Live), Bielik expressed his emotions upon picking up another serious knee injury, but revealed that he is getting stronger every day, which will be pleasing to hear for the club’s supporters.
“Mentality wise, at the beginning, you can imagine how sad I was and how bad I was. Thinking about it still makes me sad, but everything is fine now and I’m working hard. I feel great and I’m getting stronger every day.
“The hardest bit was that I was doing well and the team was doing well, too. We were getting important points and we got to the stage where we were looking up, because we were so good at that time.
“That game against Bristol City, I started well and then midway through the game, this happens again. Then you start asking yourself, because it is normal to ask yourself, ‘what is going on?’ What have you done wrong when you have tried to do everything right? So, I think God is testing me.”
“My mindset is much better now, as well as the medical team, we have Adam Storer, our Player Liaison Officer, and he was around me all the time.”
Bielik went on to reveal that he is hopeful of returning to training in July, but was also wary of any potential setbacks that could come his way in future months as Derby prepare for the 2021/22 campaign.
“I don’t want to go too far and if I do different movements which aren’t good for my knee then it can get hot and swollen, so we have to lose some time to settle it down and go again. We don’t want many setbacks.
“I’m hoping I’ll be back on the grass at the beginning of July. That is the plan, but that is without setbacks. I’m hoping I can work a bit with the ball and that would be the stage that I would be outside training with the fitness coach one-on-one.”
Which of these eight players have never scored a goal for Derby County?
He’ll be hoping he can return to action for their season opener in August.
It was a season to forget for Derby County this term, and they were fortunate to survive on the final day of the 2020/21 season, as Sheffield Wednesday pushed them all the way in the battle to stay in the Championship.
It’s no coincidence that their poor run of results in the second-tier came when Bielik was out of action through injury, and I feel as though they wouldn’t have been as much danger as they were on the final day if the Polish international was available for selection.
If he can stay injury-free heading into the new league campaign, then it’ll be a huge boost for Wayne Rooney’s side, as they look to make a positive start to the 2021/22 season.