Ross McCrorie opens up on Bristol City nightmare as Rangers links helped him beat the odds

It's been a long road to recovery for the Scot
Ross McCorie had his first taste of visiting Ashton Gate - his new home. (Image: Rogan/Fever Pitch)Ross McCorie had his first taste of visiting Ashton Gate - his new home. (Image: Rogan/Fever Pitch)
Ross McCorie had his first taste of visiting Ashton Gate - his new home. (Image: Rogan/Fever Pitch)

Ross McCrorie says his 'old-school' upbringing at Rangers helped him channel his inner strength to battle through his 'traumatic' injury at Bristol City.

McCrorie signed for the Robins last summer in a deal worth £2m from Aberdeen, but just weeks after his arrival was hit with a rare injury which proceeded to keep him sidelined for six months.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Scot suffered a bone infection during pre-season, but it took six weeks for the problem to be diagnosed.

In a new Country, in constant pain and knowing there was a long road ahead, it would've been easy for anyone to have crumbled. But, McCrorie battled through every stage and thanked his upbringing for that part of his character.

"It's probably the way I've been brought up, I grew up through the youth team at Rangers and the way it was was very old school, there was no feeling sorry for yourself," he said.

"You get up and get on with it. For me, I got diagnosed with the injury and once I got past that initial period and found out what it was and the timescale, it was right, get the head down and get to work. Rebuild and try to get back as soon as possible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"When I came out of the operation I was told I probably wouldn't be walking for six weeks and then five days later I was off crutches and I was walking, I probably did a few walks that I shouldn't have done, but the physios don't know that."

The defender was also keen to heap praise on Bristol City for their support and guidance throughout.

When he signed for the club, Nigel Pearson was at the helm, but Liam Manning has now taken the reigns and has been involved in every step of McCrorie's recovery since his arrival.

"The gaffer’s been top, the first two days he was in we had a meeting, me, the gaffer and the sports science team and we picked out the steps, they showed me a big PowerPoint about what stages I had to go through in my rehabilitation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The gaffer was really good with it all and we had target dates in mind for certain points and yeah, he's always got me in the meetings so when I got back I knew the tactical side which helped me slot back in and I wouldn't need to play catch up."

Though McCrorie was unable to train or do anything in the way of physical exercise in truth, he was still in and around the HPC, which kept him motivated and involved.

"I was here, I was coming in here but for two months I was dragging my leg, I couldn't lift my leg, it was a case of me literally having to pick my leg up and move it, there was one time when we were in the changing room, Harv sits next to me and I couldn't put my sock on, it was too much pain.

"I was on painkillers constantly, popping them multiple times a day and I couldn't sleep because the pain was that bad, but I managed to get through it and I'm thankful to the medical team that helped me through it, Tom Phillips, the doctor at the time was great and he did a lot of research on it, not just him, the physio staff as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I've also got to say thanks to the surgeon, he did a great job, I've left with a nice scar but he did a great job and I feel really good now, it was just a mindset of improving on different strength aspects of my game in the gym, I didn't want to feel sorry for myself, I don't like doing that, I wanted to come back stronger and show what kind of player I am."

McCrorie made his full debut for City in their 1-0 win against West Ham in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, after playing his first competitive minutes against Preston North End.

At the time of the injury, it was all a bit unknown what the issue was or how long it would keep McCrorie out, and the Scot went into specifics on how the problem arose.

"It was four weeks into pre-season, I played Swindon Town on the Tuesday in a friendly and then we trained the Thursday when I pulled up. I thought I'd done a muscle or just tweaked one and it’d only be a couple of days, then a couple of days went by and I was in excruciating pain.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I could barely touch my toes, lift my leg, and then six weeks later I had to go to the hospital, I was getting injections left, right and centre and then we got to the bottom of it, I had a bone infection, we came to that conclusion, I got the surgery stuff, they told me what was going to happen and I'm just grateful to be back out on the pitch.

"It was a really traumatic experience because of the amount of pain I was in. I was in a hotel at the time because I'd just moved to the club, so I was just lying in a hotel room, just barely able to move and I'm just grateful that I've put the work in and I can get back out in the pitch."

But, thankfully for McCrorie and City, the injury is behind him now, and the defender is fully focused on getting work done on the pitch.

Having been able to observe his teammates under both Pearson and Manning, he is confident that City have a squad with the potential to do something special.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "We're sitting in an ok position, four points off the play-offs, in this league it takes a good run of games, for us it's the consistency, we set a standard all the time and try not to come away from that, even in training, the more we do that, the more it'll show in games.

"The small details are what we need to sharpen up on because we are dominating teams but we let teams in a couple of times and that is what is going to make us better. We're a work in progress but the players we've got are really good, it’s exciting times for us."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.