Midfielder George Evans believes he is in a good position to return to the Derby County fold following a spell on the sidelines.
The 23-year-old returned to full training this week following seven weeks out with a knee injury sustained in the 2-0 win against Ipswich Town at Pride Park Stadium in August.
Initially the midfielder feared the worst, but test results revealed the injury was not as bad as first feared.
Since then, Evans has had to be patient and wait for his return to action. He has watched Frank Lampard’s side from the stands and admitted it may benefit him in the long run.
“Sometimes when you are injured and you watch it from the sidelines, you get a better picture of it all,” he told RamsTV. “When you’re down there, you don’t see the pictures the other players will see so when you are up in the stands it’s definitely a different game.
“I had time to look at what we are doing, the high tempo, pressing game that we have been doing is good. I’ve been watching that and when I come back in, hopefully I can show that on the pitch with the other lads. I can’t wait to get back out there now.”
Evans arrived at the club during the summer as he signed a three-year contract from fellow Sky Bet Championship side Reading.
He played his first competitive 90 minutes for the club away to Oldham Athletic in the first round of the Carabao Cup, whilst a week later he was handed his home debut against the Tractor Boys.
He managed 27 minutes before picking up the injury and has spent almost two months out, so he knows there is still a long way to go in the campaign.
“I’ve got to get myself back up to speed, fit and show the gaffer I am ready,” he admitted. “I need to work hard every day.
“It’s a high pressing game that we want to play now so I need to get my energy levels up to that and make sure I am ready. I need to impress in training and get a starting place once again."
Time on the sidelines is usually a tough period for a professional footballer, but he praised the club’s medical staff, who have helped Evans with his rehabilitation.
He said: “The staff here have been brilliant, they have really looked after me really well. I’ve been in good hands.
“Every single day they have been on me and there have been some long days but they have got me in this position now and I’m grateful for that.”