Shrewsbury Town full-back Joe Riley is delighted to be back in full training after almost four months on the sidelines.
Riley suffered ankle ligament damage in the final game of last season and has been working hard with Physio Chris Skitt over the summer.
“I’m over the moon”, Riley told ShrewsWeb.
“It’s been a long three or four months, but I am glad that I am back in training. I just want to say a massive thank you to all the staff. Skitty is brilliant at his job and he’s got me back in alright nick, so I’m ready to go.
“You become close with the medical guys and Skitty is a funny lad, which is nice. I come in and I enjoy it every day. It is hard work, but you can see yourself getting closer every day, which is great.
“I think Skitty said September in terms of full training, so we have done well in terms of that. It feels great to be back out there, training and flying into tackles.”
Riley has had bad injuries in the past, but this time he has returned nearly a month ahead of schedule and he is now looking forward to getting back playing.
“I’ve had injuries in the past, but there’s nothing you can do with tackles like that”, Joe said.
“I think it was a genuine tackle. Chris Maguire text me after the game and wished me all the best with my recovery, so that was nice of him. The positive thing is I haven’t really missed much football, so timing wise it couldn’t have been much better.
“The manager’s been brilliant. I went down to Wimbledon last weekend because he didn’t want me to feel segregated. He’s always made me feel part of the team and I think that is what has been great so far in that everyone feels part of the team and there is a real unity in the squad.”
Joe travelled with the squad to Wimbledon on Saturday, despite being a few weeks away from a return to match action, and he is excited by the potential of the group.
“I was watching on Saturday at Wimbledon and I was almost purring at times, it was brilliant”, Riley said.
“I’ve not seen us play like that since, I’ve been here, so long may that continue. You’ve got to just take it game by game in this league.
“We’ve got a winning formula and we know what we are now. We are a hard working team and when we are at it we can keep winning games in this league, so hopefully we can keep proving that.”