JORDAN Graham has vowed to use his experience to help Shandon Baptiste get back to fitness every step of the way.

The Oxford United midfielder had knee surgery last week, having suffered a freak injury on his return to the side earlier this month.

It was a devastating blow to the 20-year-old, who now faces months of gruelling rehabilitation work.

Graham is well-placed to know exactly what that means, having missed 15 months when he ruptured knee ligaments three years ago.

The on-loan winger’s own recovery was aided by a mentor in the Wolverhampton Wanderers treatment room and Graham wants to play the same role for Baptiste.

He said: “When I did my knee at Wolves there was Nouha Dicko, who had done his just a few months before.

“Anything I wanted to ask him he just said it straight.

“I always felt with Nouha there telling me what to do I’d get back quicker.

“I’ve said to Shandon ‘ask me anything and I’ll tell you exactly how it will be’.

“I’ll be honest and I’ll never sugar-coat it, because if someone gives you false hope I don’t think there’s anything worse.

“You tell them how it is and if it happens differently and it’s better for them then it’s a bonus.

“It will be hell over the next two months – you’re not going to be able to shower and you will need to rely on everyone helping you.

“But I said to him ‘keep your head’ and once you get through the next couple of months you’ll be fine.”

Long injury lay-offs are a huge challenge mentally as well as physically.

But Graham hopes his return – from a more serious injury – to playing without any problems offers a source of inspiration.

He said: “It seems at the time like you’re never going to get back out there again.

But he will be fine and I do pray it’s a straightforward surgery procedure and he can get back ASAP.

“You just have to take the positives out of it and look at it as taking a year out to work on your legs and your knees.

“Hopefully you’ll be stronger than you were before and injury-free for the rest of your career.

“I think you’ve got to look for the silver-lining in every situation.

“I know it really is hard right now, but if you’re not positive you’re always going to be down.

“He doesn’t need to be, he’s got everyone here who can help.

“I’ll go and meet him and go for food with him, anything to take his mind off it.”