Tommie Hoban wants to experience the dual joys of football and fatherhood after a serious shoulder injury hampered his chances to do both.
On-loan Aberdeen defender Hoban returned to Easter Road on Saturday, five months after he scored in the capital but also dislocated his shoulder.
The injury was so severe – he tore multiple ligaments and required surgery – that he struggled to hold his new son Finley, with his operation being delayed by a month to allow his partner Christina to give birth.
He has now played two games in a week and hopes to reap the benefits of full fitness at home and on the pitch.
Hoban said: “It’s been a frustrating time. I had the two Burnley games and scored last time at Easter Road, but I picked up a serious injury. We’ve had two good victories in this last week and I’m just glad to be back and helping the team.
“I dislocated my shoulder badly – I tore all the ligaments. It was a three-month recovery period; the surgery was delayed by a month as my missus was expecting a baby, who turned up two weeks late. It was very tough for her, especially the first few weeks as I couldn’t really do much. I maybe played on it a bit – I’m still not changing nappies! Hopefully I can get back in the routine now and enjoy football again.”
“I came up for the semi-final and final and I was buzzing for everyone. You just want to be out there. Those games kept me focused to get back as quick as I can. I’m glad that time has come.”
Victory at Hibernian saw Aberdeen leapfrog Kilmarnock into third.
Hoban added: “It’s so tight up there at the minute.
“It’s great to be part of a push like this – we’re trying to take one game at a time as there’s a long way to go.
“Rangers and Celtic are top sides. Come April and May time, we can maybe get a bit excited.
“We’ve had a great record against Rangers this year and the win at Ibrox was massive.
“Hopefully we can recreate something similar on Wednesday night.”