Wayne Rooney was pleased to see Tom Lawrence make his long-awaited comeback from injury in Derby County’s 2-2 draw against Brentford on Tuesday night.

The Wales international winger came off the bench for the latter stages of the Sky Bet Championship fixture to make his first appearance of 2021.

Lawrence, who turned 27 in January, picked up an injury to his ankle in Derby’s 0-0 draw at home to Stoke City in mid-December.

He endured a frustrating period out of action and what appeared to be a minor problem ended up keeping him out of action for three months.

Lawrence got 12 minutes under his belt against the Bees to up his match sharpness and he is pushing to feature in Saturday’s fixture at Stoke City (3pm kick-off).

“It was pleasing to get Tom on the pitch,” Rooney told RamsTV.

“He has worked really hard over the last couple of months doing his rehabilitation and in training.

“I felt with Colin Kazim-Richards going down with an injury, it was an opportunity to get Tom on the pitch.

“I thought there were gaps there for Tom to use his quality and get shots off. I am pleased to have him back and those minutes will do him good moving forward.”

Following the Stoke game, Lawrence will head off on international duty with Wales.

Wales have a tough three fixtures lying in wait over the international period as they kick off their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a trip to Belgium.

They travel to the King Power at Den Dreef Stadion on Wednesday 24th March (7:45pm kick-off).

Three days later, on Saturday 27th March (8pm kick-off), Wales host Mexico in a friendly fixture at Cardiff City Stadium, whilst they remain on home turf for another World Cup qualifier three days later, on Tuesday 30th March (7:45pm kick-off), as they face the Czech Republic.

Rooney said: “I am a person who thinks it is a great honour to play for your country, I have never stopped anyone going away on international duty.

"From our point of view, I think it is good that Tom will go away with Wales. He'll get good training in and hopefully he will get some game time.”

He added: “I don't think he is expecting to go there and play in all three games, but the more minutes he can get that will be great for us.”

Lawrence has made 14 appearances for Derby this season, taking his total up to 137 since joining from Leicester City in 2017.