A brave Chorley soldier injured in Afghanistan hopes to return to the frontline next year.
Kingsman Robin Sanderson, 21, of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, broke two vertebrae in his spine when the Mastiff armoured vehicle he was driving hit a 50kg Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Nad-e-Nali last July.
It was his first tour to the troubled war-torn central Asian nation.
After spending three months recuperating at his Chorley home, Kingsman Sanderson returned to his regiment’s base at Catterick, Yorkshire, to start his physiotherapy programme last November.
The rehab is expected to run well into next year.
Robin, a former Parklands pupil, said: “The only thing I have been doing at the camp is physio, getting my spine moving again. I can’t do high-impact activities yet as I have to get my back used to it again.
“I have been doing the walk/run programme.”
Robin, who lives on Cunliffe Street, has been setting himself small, gradual goals for improvement, but admitted finding the long period of recovery tiresome.
He said: “It’s frustrating because there’s things you want to do and can’t, like going out for a run.
“I was really sporty before and enjoyed playing football and basketball, but I can’t do that at the moment.
“My next goal is to complete a one-and-a-half mile run, and I hope to do that soon.”
Robin has been helped throughout his recovery by the support of dad Carl and stepmum Emma Egan, who have both visited him at camp.
Fellow Chorley soldiers Daniel Holding and Anthony Cooper were also injured in Afghanistan last year, and the three have helped each other through their ordeals.
Kingsman Holding injured his back in an IED explosion and Kingsman Cooper lost both legs from the knee down, when he stepped on a makeshift bomb while on patrol.
Robin said: “Daniel Holding is at camp with me now, finishing his physiotherapy too, and while I was in Chorley I went to see Anthony a few times, though he’s got a lot more physio yet because of his injuries.”
Robin added: “The whole 1st Lancs Battalion is going back to Afghanistan next year, and I’m hoping to be with them.
“We’re not trained to go on exercises or stay in camp, we’re trained for combat.
“I just want to get back with the lads.”