Darius Charles: Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth praises returning defender
Wycombe Wanderers defender Darius Charles deserves "all the credit in the world" after returning from a long-term hip injury, says boss Gareth Ainsworth.
The 31-year-old was released by the Chairboys in May, having been told he would have to retire by a surgeon.
But the ex-Stevenage and Wimbledon man rejoined the club last week, making his first appearance since November in Tuesday's draw at Fleetwood.
"It was a real leader's performance," Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties.
"That man sat in my office at the end of the season with tears in his eyes. I know he won't mind me saying this because I'm sure a lot of players have been there.
"He was told he had to retire, he felt like he didn't contribute enough last season and I said to him 'you contributed more than you could ever know, off the pitch as well as on it'."
Upon signing a deal until January, Charles said the injury had "stripped" him of his self-esteem, affecting his mental health.
But he was able to prove his fitness after returning to Wycombe for pre-season.
"He signed a short-term deal, on not a million pounds a week, and he's willing to prove himself to go, I want to contribute for Wycombe Wanderers," Ainsworth added.