Derby and Ireland's Jason Knight on his return to action after recent ankle injury

By Michael Scully

Jason Knight is relieved to put some lonely days behind him after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered in a training ground tackle from Wayne Rooney.

Derby County's boss injured the Ireland midfielder in what was described as a 50-50 tackle in pre-season training at Pennyhill Park in the last week of July.

Over six weeks on, Knight made his season bow last Friday night when he came off the bench for the final 10 minutes of the Rams' 2-0 defeat to Birmingham City in the Championship.

It has felt like a long wait for the 20-year-old Dubliner, who played over 50 games between September of last year and June for club and country, including three of Ireland's last four internationals.

Derby manager Wayne Rooney pictured during a pre-season friendly last August (Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“It’s been great to be back around the lads,” Knight told RamsTV.

“It’s been a bit of a journey to come back but it’s good to be here now.

“To have a longer sort of injury is something new for me.

"Especially coming early in pre-season as well, you set goals and aspirations for the season ahead and it gets cut short a little bit but you have to put it behind you and move on.

“It’s not great when you first suffer an injury but you get over it and get on with it. You just have to make sure you come back as ready as possible and that’s what I’m trying to do now.

“It’s quite a lonely place being injured. You’re not really around the team or the staff as such but it’s something you’ve got to do if you want to get back out there as quick and healthy as possible.”

Knight, who scored his first goal for Ireland in the 4-1 friendly victory against Andorra in the summer, was geared up for his third season in Derby's midfield.

But the set-back also marked him absent for Stephen Kenny for the recent trio of internationals, although he will hope to be back for the final games of Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign.

Ireland midfielder Jason Knight (©INPHO/Bagu Blanco)

Knight was delighted to be involved in the action again despite the loss that leaves Rooney's side with six points from their opening six league games, and he will hope to get more minutes in tomorrow night's clash with West Brom.

“You always think you are ready but until you get out there, put a tackle in and run around on your ankle you don’t know, but it felt great on Friday to get a few minutes,” he said.

“It was only a few minutes but I felt good and ready to be back with the team.

“We are striving for something better than last season. We want to play football the right way."

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