Watford crock Joel Ekstrand hopes to feature for first-team after nearly a year out with injury

Watford FC Match

The Swedish defender has been struggling with a knee injury.

Watford have impressed many in the Premier League this season and have had to do so without one of their better Championship operators in Joel Ekstrand.

The Swedish international has not played a game since last March after suffering an ACL injury. He has recently returned to training however and has now made a couple of successful appearances on the comeback trail with Watford's development squad.

Now the Swede is hopeful of featuring for Watford at some point this season. The talented defender is out of contract in the summer and told The Guardian today of his hope to prove to Quique Sanchez Flores that he is worthy of a place in the Watford first-team again:

“I don’t want to rush into anything at the moment.

“The only thing I can do now is get back to full fitness and play some games.

"Ultimately it’s up to the manager – for most of my three years at Watford I’ve been first choice but now I have to prove I’m good enough to force my way back into the team.”

Ekstrand played 25 times for Watford in their promotion season and his injury has been a cruel twist of fate.

As he approaches a year out of first-team action he will know that getting ahead of the likes of Craig Cathcart, Miguel Britos and Sebastian Prodl will be extremely difficult.

But Watford fans would no doubt like to see him get back into action after his injury hell.

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