The midfielder played for 45 minutes of an under-21 game earlier this week after he fought his way back from a serious knee problem.
“I’ve still lots to work on to get my fitness and sharpness back but it is nice to get 45 minutes under my belt,” he said.
“I was quite nervous, to be honest, but as soon as the whistle went I felt at home again and felt comfortable.”
“I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel now and I am grateful to everyone for their help.”
It’s encouraging that he’s showing so much determination but his eagerness has to be dealt with by himself and key officials at the club.
The temptation for first team boss Steve McClaren will be to get him back into the first team setup as quickly as possible.
However, the risk is that slotting him back into the pressure of Championship football prematurely will set him back even further.
The first team has adjusted without him and while there is the option to rush him back, it’s not worth it balanced against the players McClaren can choose from in his position.
The under-21 setup is a good platform for him to improve his fitness as well as offering the benefits of his experience to the younger players coming up through the ranks.
However, the hard work has only just begun and there’s still a long way to go.