Darren Bent admits he is making steady steps in the right direction on the road to recovery.

The 32-year-old striker sustained a hamstring injury during pre-season which will keep him out of action until later in the calendar year.

Bent underwent surgery within days of sustaining the injury whilst taking, and scoring, a penalty in Derby’s pre-season friendly at Port Vale in July.

The former England international has regularly kept supporters fully up to speed with his recovery with updates and videos on social media – as well as keeping himself busy by regularly appearing on RamsTV in the early weeks of the campaign as a guest pundit.

Although he isn’t at the stage where he can get back to running drills just yet, Bent is keen to make the most of his time out by remaining in top shape.

He is determined to not let his fitness levels drops, particularly after putting in plenty of hard yards during pre-season before being sidelined.

Bent told RamsTV: “Things are going alright at the moment in terms of my rehabilitation work and I am trying to stay as fit as I can.

“Obviously I can’t do all the running and that sort of thing, the basics that I need on the pitch really, but I am working hard to stay in good shape.

“I don’t want my levels to drop and I know it is a long road back – and the medical department probably hate me right now!”

Bent is keen to do as much work as possible during his time out to ensure he is in the best possible shape when he returns to action.

He said: “I am doing as much as I can, as much as it is frustrating to be out injured right now.

“I have a long period out so I want to remain in good nick to help me in the long run.”