IF Tam O’Ware was ever tempted to feel sorry for himself as he lost almost the entirety of his first season at Partick Thistle to injury, he was able to glance across the changing room and gain a sense of perspective in his captain.

Stuart Bannigan of course came through an even lengthier lay-off than O’Ware did. While they both suffered ACL injuries, O’Ware’s rehab has been completed in approximately the same amount of time it took to even diagnose what Bannigan’s issue was.

The delay in going under the knife cost the Thistle midfielder over two years of his career, but if one good thing has come from it, it is that he now has the wisdom to pass on to any of his teammates who may be suffering the on the lonely road back from a long-term layoff.

“Obviously, Banzo went through worse,” O’Ware said. “I was out for seven or eight months, how he has managed to do two-and-a-half years of not playing I still don’t understand.

“He was brilliant for me, and any time I needed anything, I knew he was there for me.

“He would give me advice every day. If I had any wee worries about anything or questions about my knee, he would tell me not to worry.

“He was brilliant. I’m a wee bit bi-polar, I can be up and down, so the days I maybe had a bad day, he would keep me onside.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Stuart and the boys will say the same. He’s a great player, and how he can play at the level he does after being out for two-and-a-half years is testament to himself and his attitude.

“He’s always in the top group for running, he’s fit as can be. It’s a real testament to him how he has handled himself over the last two years.

“I was lucky that they knew exactly what had happened to me right away. Stuart didn’t get operated on until six months down the line.

“They didn’t know exactly what had happened to him. So, my whole rehab was the time that was wasted for him.

“I can only imagine what he went through. For me, it was a case of letting the swelling go down, getting in for the surgery and cracking on with rehab.”

O’Ware is relishing the chance to test out his knee now that Thistle have returned to pre-season training, and knows his teammates will be only too happy to oblige.

“I had missed 10 months of training, so I was a wee bit nervous because of that [the night before pre-season training began], but I’ve been impressed by how my body has coped with it and I’ve had no problems from my knee,” he said.

“I haven’t had a big collision or anything yet, but the general movement that I had maybe struggled a wee bit before is fine now.

“Before the break, it was still a wee bit iffy, and you wonder if that is how it is going to be from now on. Since I came back though, I’ve not really thought about it or held anything back.

“I’ve asked Jeebsy [Gary Harkins] or Banzo to make sure that they give me that first crunching tackle, but so far, so good.”