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The Spaniard had been sidelined since September but return to action against West Ham, and is now keen to prove his fitness in a bid to secure a staring spot against Cardiff

Pablo Hernandez is hoping for a starting berth in the south Wales derby against Cardiff after making his Swansea return against West Ham on Sunday.

The Spanish winger came on as a second-half substitute in the Swans' goalless draw with Sam Allardyce's men after recovering from a two-month lay-off with a thigh injury.

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And the 28-year-old former Valencia man is now hoping to show enough in training to put himself in contention for a place in the starting XI at the Cardiff City Stadium.

"I feel okay," he told the South Wales Evening Post. "I could have played for the last few weeks. This injury should have only lasted two or three weeks but when I started training I felt a problem in the same leg.

"I had to restart the treatment so it ended up being a long time.

"It's fortunate for me that on Sunday I could play 30 or 35 minutes.

"I felt good on the pitch and I will train hard this week ready for the next game. Now I need more minutes to rebuild the confidence.

"I think I should be able to train normally all week with the team and hopefully I'll be ready to start, but it's not my decision."

Hernandez, who has not started a Premier League match since a goalscoring performance in Swansea's 2-0 victory at West Brom, is well aware of what the derby fixture means to fans of both clubs.

"It's a difficult game," he added. "Both teams want to win the match, Cardiff are at home but we want to win this for the fans. The occasion should be unbelievable."

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