Craig Can't Rush

Craig Forrest says it will still be a little while before he is able to watch the Hammers at Upton Park.

Craig, who in the meantime has had to content himself to listening to the games via the commentary on this site, is still recuperating from the effects of precautionary chemotherapy following his operation for testicular cancer last year.

Although he did make it to the game near his Ipswich home in October, inspiring the first away win of the season which was dedicated by the players to him, he admits: "The only game I have actually been to was Ipswich away. I just found everybody was great but the whole day was overwhelming and it takes a lot of energy."

Nonetheless, his recuperation is going slowly but surely, and he adds: "It's not too bad. It was difficult, obviously, but now I am just taking the time that the doctors want me to take to try to get over the effects of the treatment itself - it will take some time.

"I have talked to Jason Cundy, who was at Ipswich when he had the same thing, and asked when he came back.

"It was four months which he thought was too soon and I've also spoken to Neil Harris of Millwall, who scored recently after the seventh month since he had it. Discussing with them, the message is 'don't rush it.'

"That is the key according to the advice I've been getting from people like Neil and Jason. Neil Harris trained for two weeks straight, and then was bedridden for two weeks.

"It is the poison that affects every cell in your body and you have to let it run its course for months."

Craig admits, though, the need to get back training sometimes takes over, and he adds: "I went for a run a few days ago but four days later I could hardly get up the stairs so I obviously overdid it; sometimes you just feel that you want to do something and it is frustrating.

"I am trying not to overdo it, but you want to do something at times, even though you feel tired most of the time.

"But for the most part I feel 'great' - the health side is the only thing you have you have got and things are progressing in the right way."

There is a silver lining in the cloud of the terrible disease, however, and he explains: "Having something like this you start to appreciate things you would normally take for granted and you feel at times you are a more rounded person for it - though I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

"You come across these people in hospital and you have a bond, because they are going through it as well.

"If everything works out well, maybe I will appreciate things more than I used to."

He has not lost contact with his team mates in the months he has been out, and he adds: "I've kept in touch with the other guys - Steve Lomas has been terrific as well, and I didn't expect anything different because they are classy guys.

"The fans have been great, very supportive; a lot of people have gone through it, and it is a help to hear from people like that."

As for the football side, Craig says: "If we stay away from injuries we can continue to do well - we have picked up points off the top teams and if we keep doing that we can get into a top ten position - which is obviously where we want to be."