Midfielder George Evans says he is both happy and relived to be back playing football following a recent calf injury which saw him sidelined for over two months.

The 25-year-old made his return to action on Monday night as he featured for 60 minutes in Derby County’s Under-23s' Premier League 2 - Division 1 fixture against Everton.

Evans, whose had a stop-start time with Derby since signing for the club in the summer of 2018 from Reading, suffered his recent injury before Christmas at Pride Park Stadium.

He felt a twinge in his calf and scan results revealed meant the midfielder would endured a spell on the sidelines and he missed the Rams’ last 14 fixtures in all competitions.

However, Evans has worked hard both in the gym and on the training field to get back fighting fit and after playing an hour for the Under-23s in their 2-1 defeat against the Toffees at Goodison Park, he hopes he can keep himself injury-free and make an impact this season.

“I’m delighted to be back,” he told RamsTV. “It was a frustrating injury and it’s been tough mentally as well.

“It’s been stop-start since I’ve been at the club, but I’m glad to be back and hopefully that’s the end of it now.

“There’s no better feeling than being back on the pitch and playing because it’s been frustrating for me.

“Every time I’ve been for a scan it’s been a bit longer than I’ve expected, hopefully I can put all that behind me and that can be the end of it now.”

Evans came through Monday’s encounter against Everton unscathed despite being kicked on his ankle in the first half.

And to get back up to the speed of the Sky Bet Championship, he knows he needs to get more minutes under his belt.

“There’s no better feeling than being on the pitch, I’ve missed it,” he said. “Being back out there is great, but hopefully I can keep progressing and get some minutes with the first team.

“If I can’t do that, then I will be with the Under-23s and get some minutes behind me because that’s what I need.”