DAVID Syers is using painful memories of his time on the City sidelines to help him get through his current injury torment.

The club’s former player of the year will be back at Valley Parade on Saturday with Scunthorpe. But his afternoon will be limited to a pre-match meal and a seat in the stand.

Syers played a significant role in the Iron’s promotion to League One with ten goals after joining from Doncaster. Unfortunately his present campaign was effectively over before it had begun.

The season was only five minutes old when he collapsed in a heap after a challenge sandwiched between two Swindon players. Syers ruptured the lateral ligament in his knee and tore his hamstring.

“It was a double impact injury,” he recalled. “There was a defender in front of me and a midfielder chasing in behind.

“As I went for the ball, the momentum of the defender took him through the knee and I had nowhere to go because of the guy coming in. I tried to play on for about 15 seconds but that was it.

“We play in a contact sport and if you get hit in the wrong place at the wrong time, then injuries happen. I was just unlucky.”

It was the right knee again – the same one he damaged for City while having a barnstorming League Cup game against Leeds at Elland Road in August 2011.

The previous problem was not a factor in his latest setback but it brought back flashbacks for Syers, who sat out four months on that occasion.

He remembered how hard it had been – and how harbouring too many negative thoughts had not helped with his recovery. So this time he has maintained a far more philosophical outlook.

“That injury at Bradford had a much bigger psychological impact on me because it was the first one.

“It was right at the start of my second season after having such a good first year.

“I wanted to hit the ground running and was doing that by having a very good game against higher level opposition.

“It was the final year of my contract – everything was ten times worse.

“I hadn’t made a career and could have fallen out the game like many people do. So there was a lot more self pity at the time.

“Looking back now, I realised it didn’t get me anywhere. This time I haven’t let myself get too down about it.

“I’ve learned from previous experience that it doesn’t get me anywhere.

“Instead I’ve broken it up into small manageable periods and everything is going as well as it could be.”

City changed managers while Syers was sidelined, Phil Parkinson replacing Peter Jackson three weeks later.

The same has happened with the Iron – he has not kicked a ball for new boss Mark Robins, who replaced Russ Wilcox in October.

“I’m completely and utterly useless to him,” admitted Syers, who was in a knee brace until last month. “It’s frustrating and very similar to what happened to me at Bradford.

“The gaffer has been brilliant. He’s not demanded I do this or that, he has allowed the process to keep going the way it has been.

“Once I’m properly back fit, it will give me time to show what I can do.

“I signed a two-and-a half year contract last January so I have got another year yet. There isn’t that need to rush.

“I’m over the danger zone. As far as everyone’s concerned, the knee and the hamstring are repaired.

“I just need a lot of strength and conditioning work and it’s building it back up in a sensible and responsible way.”

Syers will be an interested spectator this weekend and cannot predict an outcome.

He said: “Both teams are in good form and owe it to the FA Cup in a way.

“They were going through tough periods before and then Bradford beat Halifax and Scunthorpe beat Forest Green. Both clubs have kicked on well since.”