Chesterfield striker Akwasi Asante praised for mental strength after eight months out with serious injury

James Rowe has praised the mental strength of Akwasi Asante after the striker fought back from eight months out with a ruptured ACL.

By Liam Norcliffe
Monday, 13th December 2021, 3:00 pm

Asante scored 10 goals in 22 appearances for the Spireites last season before suffering his devastating injury in April.

The forward was involved in the matchday squad against Grimsby on Saturday as an unused substitute.

But Rowe confirmed the 29-year-old is set to feature this weekend against Guiseley in the FA Trophy third round tie at the Technique Stadium.

Akwasi Asante.

“He has had to work incredibly hard,” Rowe said.

“When you have an injury like that your bodyweight needs to remain the same and that is challenging because obviously you need to change your diet a little bit and you have to sacrifice a few things.

“He has sacrificed a hell of a lot to be back a month early and he is hopefully ready now to play some part in the FA Trophy.

“He has got one of the strongest mindsets I have come across in football so credit to him.

“We welcome him back with big, big open arms.”

The prospect of a strike partnership with Kabongo Tshimanga has lots of potential but Rowe has warned they will need to be patient with him after such a long time out.

Town fans are eagerly awaiting seeing Asante play live for the first time after not being allowed inside stadiums last season because of the pandemic.

Although Asante, who is contracted until summer 2024, did not get on the pitch against the Mariners, just being involved will have done him a lot of good, Rowe believes.

He explained: “When you come back from an injury like that it is important that you get your mindset right. Your mind is a powerful tool.

“Getting back into the fold on a matchday, warming-up with the players, in there with your boots on and on the bench ready to come on and impact the game, all of that is important.

“Not only that, he is a leader. He leads by his actions. People lead in different ways in that changing room.

"We welcome him back now.”