Hibs striker Adam Le Fondre is eager to make up for lost time - after battling back from an injury more commonly seen in car-crash victims.

The 37-year-old missed 13 games after suffering a Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tear during the goalless draw with Celtic in late October, but played 84 minutes of the next match, a 2-2 draw with Ross County. He made his comeback in the 3-0 defeat by St Mirren at the start of the month before getting half an hour in the 3-1 Scottish Cup win against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. 

"The doctor was like, 'what have you done?' We played Celtic at home and Matt O'Riley nicked the ball off me and I went down on my knee and folded it. I got up and went, 'that's a bit sore, that' and just carried on playing, as you do," he explained, as he previewed this weekend's trip to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen. 

"I got through training and started the Tuesday-night game against Ross County and when Jair Tavares scored, it was a two-v-one and I sprinted through the middle but as I started to do that I went,  'Offttt, that doesn't feel great'. My knee sort of gave way but me being daft I carried on for another 20 minutes after that to try to get through it. It got to the point where I couldn't really walk - it was a bit stupid on my part!

"I had to wait until the end of my career to get a properly bad injury. Even when I got the news that I had a PCL tear in my knee, there was disbelief because I'd been playing with it for two or three games," he added.

"I did it against Celtic and played the Ross County game after and I felt my leg give way - I thought, if anything, that I was going to have a stress fracture or something like that. But I was put in a brace for seven or eight weeks. It's the longest injury I've ever had in my career; three-and-a-half months."

While anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries spark fear in footballers given the lengthy lay-off and arduous road to recovery, Le Fondre admitted that just hearing the words 'cruciate ligament' was enough to cause him concern.

"I was thinking the worst. They said if it was a little bit worse then it could have been surgery. I thought, 'Bloody hell, I don't need surgery at this stage of my career'. That's the last sort of news I wanted - I was hoping for three weeks, or maybe I'll strap it up for the semi-final [against Aberdeen] and rest after that. Being in a brace for seven weeks after that, I had to reassess everything and get myself in a good mental space because no matter what age you are, with an injury like that, you can't help the team when they go through tough periods. Knowing you've made an impact previously and knowing you can still make an impact on the pitch but you're not able to because your body has betrayed you, it's just unfortunate and it's something that I had to adjust to."

Le Fondre, who has four goal contributions in 12 appearances for Hibs this season, is frustrated at missing a sizeable chunk of the campaign and is keen to make a difference now that he is fit and firing once more.

"I think I was playing well before the injury and the gaffer will attest to that. I've probably been missed while I've been out injured. It has been disappointing because I know I can make a difference, I know I can score goals, I know I can create goals and help the team win. Watching us falter a little bit in that period was really disheartening for me. Because I like the gaffer so much and we have a personal relationship, I want to be back to help him, and put my body on the line for him as well."

Thanks to his years in the game Le Fondre has seen a lot change behind the scenes, particularly when it comes to general fitness - but credits his lack of serious injury throughout his career to good fortune.

"I've just been really lucky, I can't put it down to anything. I played through a time when prehab wasn't as prevalent as it is now. My prehab at Bolton used to be having a coffee at 10:25, going out and smashing some balls around, going in net while a centre-back was shooting at me from 30 yards and then training. I have gone through the lot. You come here and you have a dedicated activation centre and stuff like that. I have evolved as I have got older but I've done well to escape injuries. Touch wood I escape it for the rest of my career."

Le Fondre is out of contract in the summer but for now, is keen to focus on contributing regularly. 

"Being out for so long I am just focusing on playing at the moment. We will go from there but whatever happens, next season I will definitely be playing football. I still think I am good enough to make an impact no matter what level I am playing at and I think my performances speak for themselves."

His return to action also revealed a Barbie-esque new look, with a Ken-style bleach-blonde mop of hair.

"It's something different, isn't it? My missus has been badgering me to do it and she didn't think I would do it. I said to my girls, 'Don't tell mum, but I am going to come in one day with bleach-blonde hair. They said, 'Dad don't, that's embarrassing.' So I turned up with bleach-blonde hair and they were like,' Oh my god, I'm so embarrassed.' I thought, 'Why not?' And if I didn't do it now I'd never do it. It's been a bit of a laugh."