Whilst injured, defender Curtis Davies has used the opportunity to pass on his knowledge and experience to the players in the younger age categories at Derby County.
Davies has been missing since the 2-1 victory at Reading on the opening day of the season after he suffered a hamstring injury in training.
The 33-year-old made his return to action for the Under-23s last week as he helped them to a 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League 2.
Davies has been a regular member of the squad since his arrival from Hull City in the summer of 2017 and he started every league game last season, but he has made use of his time on the treatment table by helping the young players at the club.
“It’s not just the fact that I’m the captain of the football club, I like to think that the way I interact with the young players around the training ground or wherever it may be, I talk to them about football stuff, non-football stuff and try to relate to them,” he said.
“When it does come to situations where you join in and play with them then there is a little bit more respect from them for me as a person as well as me as a captain. I did enjoy playing with the Under 23s. It was good to play alongside Lee Buchanan, who is making big strides at the moment in the Academy.
“He has started two games for the Under-23s in a row and they did well, got the clean sheet and got a good result against an unbeaten team in Brighton.”
It was Davies’ first minutes in just under two months, but he felt good following it. “I wanted to try and get 90 minutes because you know the feeling when you’re out there that you want to see the job through, but I understand the reasoning to play 70,” Davies commented.
“It’s to get fitness in the legs and to get the sharpness back and I really enjoyed the game. Those games are tests in terms of how you mentally adapt to it.
“I know we’ve got a really good under 23 side but sometimes as the senior professional playing against those sides, the opposition can be looking to get one over on you but as soon as the game got going I felt good and it was a good win for the lads.”
Richard Keogh and Fikayo Tomori have struck up a good partnership during the defender’s absence, however, the defender is now back in the squad and was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers last week. “I’m ready when I’m needed,” he admitted.
“My aim is to get back into the side as soon as possible, but I understand that the lads have done well. I would like to get in there and help the lads as soon as possible if I can."