Scotland’s World No.45 Greg Lobban has enjoyed a prolific return to the squash court, claiming three PSA World Tour titles after a seven-month injury lay-off.
The 24-year-old from Inverness suffered a hamstring tear during the Chicago Open but returned to action in May and went on to make five finals, claiming three of them with wins at the Stortford Classic, NZ International Classic and Invercargill Open and Lobban admitted his comeback had exceeded his expectations.
“I spent a lot of my time off the court, trying to better myself and although I couldn’t physically exert myself for the majority of this time, I was able to work on the mental aspect of my game,” said Lobban – who was recently named Player of the Month for June.
“I feel like a completely different player since I’ve been back on Tour and I do put a lot of that down to the time I spent learning more about what goes on in between my ears.
“I have worked hard to get back to the position I’m in now and although the rehabilitation process was one of the hardest things I have had to go through it was also one of the most rewarding.
“The last few months have surpassed all of my expectations and more. I’m excited to be back competing again.”
Lobban was just two points away from victory at the Chicago Open when he suffered his hamstring tear and the Scotsman admitted he was devastated to experience the extensive injury.
“I couldn’t believe it. I had felt good in Chicago all week and to only be two points away from beating Campbell Grayson in straight games – I must have been playing well!
“At the time, I had never won a PSA M15 Tour event either so when I went down with the injury so close to the finish line it really sucked.
“I had felt a tear in my hamstring and then immediately after my leg was shaking uncontrollably. I had never experienced anything like that feeling before and I think I just went into a state of pure panic.
“I remember very clearly receiving the phone call from my doctor in Edinburgh with my MRI results. He explained what the results of the scan were and my heart sank at the thought of the severity of the injury. It was the worst news I could have received and he then explained that surgery may well be on the cards.
“Initially I didn’t know how I was going to cope or pass the time off. I had never had a serious injury before but I dealt with it by taking every day at a time and enjoying every little progression.”
Lobban was also quick to stress the important support of his fiancé and fellow player, Australia’s World No.18 Donna Urquhart, during that tough time.
“I have always been grateful that I have Donna by my side but none more so than when I was at my worst in this whole process.
“She has had experience of a major injury, she’s been through the process and knew exactly how it felt to be me throughout my time out from the game so for her to be there and say the right things when they needed to be said was invaluable.”
Now that he is back competing, Lobban has outlined his aims for the coming year.
“I would love to get a career high ranking in the next 12 months. I think that would be quite significant for me and prove to myself that despite the injury setback, I’m better than what I was before.”