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Meyler making the most of fitness and fortune

Meyler, 24, has twice undergone rehabilitation on his right knee, with one prognosis fearing the Ireland international would be unable to resume walking without discomfort.

The Cork-born midfielder first injured his knee in May 2010 when playing Manchester United, before a recurrence in January 2011.

"I was told I might never walk properly again," Meyler said.

"That gives you a bit of context, to play in an FA Cup final. I don't know if I will be playing yet, obviously, but to have the opportunity would be fantastic.

"I had made a right mess of my leg, I thought I would not be right for a long time. The first time (it was) bad, the second time felt like someone had broken my fingernail but it was the same length of time I needed after the first injury."

Meyler hailed the work of Yorkshire surgeon Steve Bollen, who twice got the midfielder back on the park, let alone allowing him to move freely at all.

"He did a fantastic job on both (injuries) for me, so I have to thank him for looking after me," Meyler said.

"I would not say it drives me on but I appreciate the small things a lot more. When you spend 18 months out injured it is never nice. When you are training every day you relish it and enjoy it."

There was almost a heart-breaking twist in Meyler's journey from the medical room to Wembley, after he allegedly stomped on Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj in their penultimate league fixture.

Meyler escaped without a retrospective punishment, after referee Craig Pawson said he saw the incident on game day, although he said he endured a few nervous moments awaiting his name being cleared.

"The referee realised there was no malice," Meyler said.

"There was a worry and some anxiety.

"Sometimes things can be taken the wrong way but it is all done and dusted now and I can look forward to the cup final.

"It will be a fantastic day and I believe we are going to win it."