The Evesham United midfielder has received the all clear from his surgeon to return to full training after an operation in February to reconstruct his anterior cruciate ligament.
He suffered the dreaded injury in a midweek match at Didcot Town, who Evesham play at home on Saturday, twisting awkwardly as he tried to hook the ball away with his studs caught in the ground.
“I knew straight away it was serious because of the sound it made,” Turley said.
“I can remember it so clearly and I know a few players there said they heard it too.
“There wasn’t too much swelling immediately afterwards, but the next day it really ballooned up which was also a telling sign.”
Turley was initially told by the A&E department and his GP that there was no major damage, but he pushed for an MRI scan, which revealed his ACL had been ruptured.
“If I hadn’t kept pushing for an MRI it would have probably been an even longer process because nobody initially thought there was too much wrong,” he said.
Turley was told it would be nine to 12 months before he would be back in action after going under the knife.
“By the time I’m actually playing again I’m hoping it will be about nine months,” he said.
“Although all the rehab has gone as well as it can and my physio has said I may be able to go back slightly earlier than nine months I’ve been cautious of trying to rush it so I’m happy with the timescale of it all.
“The recovery has obviously been a long and sometimes tedious process, but iin the early stages I wasn’t even thinking about the long term of trying to play again, I was just focusing on being able to walk again and getting some motion back in my knee.
“In that stage i could see progress pretty much every day. The latter stages have definitely been more frustrating, when I’ve been able to walk and run for what seems like an age but I still can’t play.”
Now he has the green light to go back into full contact training, he knows the end of a long road back to fitness is within sight.
“It was such a relief to get the all clear,” he said. “I’ve been training for a while with the rest of the team and just been avoiding contact but seeing the surgeon and hearing what he said has given me the confidence to step up the final stages of the recovery.”
Turley started his career as a youth team player at Cheltenham Town, before spells with Mangotsfield United, Bishop’s Cleeve and Cinderford Town. He is now working for the family business, Forest of Dean Caravans. He said he was grateful for the support shown to him by Evesham during his long absence, with defender Liam Harding also on his way back from knee surgery.
“I’m still a few weeks away from returning for the first team, I just want to step up into full training over the next week or two and see how i react,” Turley said.
“Colly (manager Paul Collicutt) and Gerry (Oldham, assistant manager) have been great throughout the process and they’ve both stressed to me that they aren’t going to pressure me into returning before I feel ready.
“As long as I’m happy with how it’s feeling then really it’s down to them as to when they want me back in the team.
“As frustrating as it’s been being on the sidelines, it’s given me a chance to get to know a lot of the fans and people involved off the field around the club.
“They’ve all been really supportive of me throughout which I’m thankful for and has shown me the amount of effort they put in to supporting the team and the club.”
Turley, who turns 24 on Sunday, says it will be a special feeling to finally be back in action for Evesham, who are bidding to win promotion to the Southern League Premier Division after missing out in the play-offs last season.
“’I’ ve been to almost every game since the injury and watching from the sidelines has been tough, especially the end of last season,” he said.
“Obviously everyone involved with the club feels we’ve got a bit of a point to prove this year and I’ve felt pretty helpless in terms of that so far, so I can’t wait to get back in and try to help the team out.”