Billy Clarke will be there every step of the way to offer his support to Jake Forster-Caskey as the Charlton midfielder recovers from a serious knee injury.
Forster-Caskey ruptured his ACL knee ligament just before Charlton’s opening game of the season at Sunderland and the injury is likely to keep him out for the entire campaign.
And Clarke, who is concluding his recovery from a similar injury, says that he will be there to help his teammates through what will be a challenging through months.
“I’m there for Jake all of the time,” Clarke said. “I told him from day one when he suffered the injury that I’d be there for him if he ever wanted to speak to me.
“I got over my first one [ACL injury] and I’m nearly over my second one and I’ll be there to support him with whatever he wants me to do. If he wants to ask me questions or speak about if he’s feeling down on this day or that day then I’ll happily sit down with him.
“Jake will need support – just like I did – and when that support comes from someone who has been through the same thing then it can make it a bit easier for him.”
Clarke has been sidelined since December but could return to first-team training in the coming weeks. He is thankful to the hard work of the Addicks’ medical and sports science teams.
He joked: “Well, we will see how good I am when I get back! Everyone has worked their socks off with me.
“We have had arguments, down and dark days, happy days, all sorts. There has been a whole spectrum of emotions and they [the staff] have been side-by-side with me all the way.
“I’m grateful to them for that and hopefully they can use me as a blueprint for Jake, who has obviously just had the operation. We’re all thinking about him and hopefully he can have a successful recovery.”