Reading defender Andy Yiadom is delighted to be back in action after an injury-plagued start to the season.
In the treatment room since November, the Ghana international completed only his second full game of the Championship campaign in Wednesday's 3-1 loss to Brentford.
He lasted the entire duration of the season opener against Derby County before suffering an injury, going missing for two months and returning with two appearances in November before suffering another relapse that would send him back to the treatment room until this month.
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“I started against Derby in the first game of the season – then I got injured. I came back against Stoke in November and unfortunately broke down then," Yiadom explained, as reported by his club's official website.
“It has been extremely tough, and frustrating. But I’ve had a goal in mind and I’m grateful to have achieved that goal – which was to start and get through 90 minutes, with the help of the medical team.
“I’m feeling a bit leggy, a bit tired… but I’ve been looking forward to having that feeling! To finish 90 minutes and have those aches and pains. So I’m grateful to have played.
"The medical team have done extremely well. It’s taken a lot of graft, there have been a few setbacks… but I’m here now and I’m happy to have played 90 minutes."
Reading have not fared badly in Yiadom's absence as they currently occupy the fifth spot on the league table and are in a good position to grab a promotion play-off slot.
“I’ve kept busy, been around the team and tried to help people out. At the end of the day, we’re a team and we’re in a really good position. So anyone that’s on the pitch or on the bench need people to have an arm around them, and that’s what I’ve tried to do," said the 29-year-old.
“Whoever has been injured or not playing, when someone else comes in to fill that position, everyone is there to help them and give them some encouragement. That’s personally what I’ve been trying to do. Tom Holmes has done extremely well – everyone who has come in has put a shift in, and that’s good for us as a team to go forward.
“Now I’ll take it game by game. I’ve banked 90 minutes [against Brentford], and I’ll see what the future holds.”
Yiadom's injury situation also rendered him unavailable for international assignments with Ghana over the period. He will hope to make a return when CK Akonnor assembles his squad for next month's 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.