Derby County defender describes his "disbelief" to season-ending injury

Jake Rooney was ruled out of the rest of the season when he suffered an injury in September
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Derby County youngster Jake Rooney had been breaking into the starting XI at the start of the season.

The 20 year-old suffered a heartbreaking injury against Bolton Wanderers at the start of September which forced him to sit out the rest of the season.

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He ruptured his ACL after he tried to keep the ball in play during what was a tight match. The 20 year-old left the game on a stretcher and immediatley went for a scan.

Once the injury had been diagnosed, he was ruled out for the rest of the season and began a long period in rehabilitation.

Speaking to Derbyshire Live, the defender said he was in disbelief when it first happened. He said: "When it happened I was in so much disbelief that I genuinely thought it was all a dream.

"I've never been injured before and I was thinking this can't be happening. I just remember having my head buried in my hands back going back to the changing room.

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"On the day I never actually saw the manager or the lads again afterward because I was gone by half-time."

Rooney began to become a big part of manager Paul Warne's plans, he says the injury felt like it came at a bad time: "Injuries come at the worst time don't they?

"But I am a big believer in that everything happens for a reason. Last year I felt I had a good season. Even then I still didn't have that opportunity to have a run of five or six games and stay in the team.

"But I felt I was getting to my best this year and on that third game at Bolton, I was thinking this is me, I am in and I am ready to go all season."

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He has made 12 appearances for the Rams since joining from Burnley's youth system back in the summer of 2022.

Rooney has impressed and there is no doubt that when he returns and as he gains more experience, the defender could be a big part of Paul Warne's future plans.

He added: "But you can only bounce back from it, can't you? When I come back I just want to pick up where I left off and it's only going to make my story greater because I've experienced this injury at such a young age.

"I guess it's part of the job, but the manager has been brilliant. Last year he wasn't afraid to throw me in the big games."

Rooney will be desperate to return next season and make the impact that he began to show early in the year.