Weaver - I feel lucky

Keeper ready to help Wednesday move out of League One

Nicky Weaver: Goalkeeper has battled against knee problems throughout his career

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Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Nicky Weaver has said he feels 'lucky' to still be playing after a series of career-saving knee operations.

Weaver's penalty save during last Sunday's FA Cup win over West Ham came in only his third game back following the sixth knee operation of his career.

The ex-England Under-21 international had his hopes of stepping up to the senior team dashed in 2002 when playing for Manchester City but he says he is ready to put that behind him.

Lucky

"I'm not frustrated by what might have been, I class myself as lucky to be still playing," Weaver told The Guardian.

"I did my right knee playing for City at Birmingham. I dived to my left and felt something go," he said.

"It started out as just a little cartilage tear but, after that, I think I played in one first-team game in three years."

The 32-year-old keeper then needed five operations on the joint and the transplant of a dead man's cartilage in the United States.

"The chances of it succeeding were 70-30," he said.

"At first having a bit of a dead man inside me freaked me out, but I quickly got used to it. "

Nicky Weaver

Quotes of the week

"If it hadn't worked, if my body had rejected it, I'd have had to pack football in. We'd reached the point of having to phone the insurers. It was so serious."

Fun

"It wasn't fun. At first having a bit of a dead man inside me freaked me out, but I quickly got used to it.

"I did inquire about who it had come from. I tried to get in touch with his family but it was impossible.

"I'm not saying contacting his family would have offered them any comfort, but it might have been nice to let them know something positive has come out of it."

The shot-stopper then returned from more than a year out to play almost 150 games for City, Charlton, Dundee United, Burnley and Wednesday, requiring only a small operation to repair the tissue last September.

The Sheffield-born player says he is now ready to help third-place Wednesday move out of a league he says his team do not belong in.

"Sheffield Wednesday shouldn't be in this situation, but we are and now we have to get out of it," he added.