Walsall defender Rollin Menayese is grateful to be back fit and is happy to be back playing.
The 25-year-old started a match for the first time since January in the Saddlers’ 3-2 defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy on Tuesday night.
It’s been a long road back for Menayese since he fractured his ankle while on loan at Hartlepool United at the start of the year but he is now aiming push on and get back to his best and continue what has been a lengthy journey back to fitness.
“It’s a long period of time,” he admitted. “You get doubts in your head about how you’re going to come back, if you’re going to come back but it’s just a positive to be back out there now and I’m trying to push on and get to the levels that I know I can get to.
“Big credit to Cal (Reeves), Obed (Attah) and Ewan (Turnbull). They’ve taken a lot of time out of their day to help me get back on the pitch so I’m grateful to all three of them.
“It felt good to be put in that situation out there with the lads and seeing where my body is at.
“I am grateful to be back on the pitch and it was good to get the minutes into my legs, seeing where my fitness is at, seeing how my body is reacting and moving.
“There’s still a lot of work to be doing, I’ll keep going, keep pushing and see where it takes me.
"It is good to be playing football again.”
Menayese was frustrated with the result on his return after the Saddlers dominated, particularly in the second half.
On a positive note, he managed to get through almost 70 minutes with no hiccups and after taking that step, he is now focused on improving his game.
“You’re not going to get the best version of yourself no matter how hard you work on the training pitch because it’s completely different” he explained.
“I go out there and I try to do my best, that’s all you can do at the end of the day and keep improving, watch it back, see where you went wrong and keep going from there.
"I’m happy I’ve managed to go out there and not have a reaction on my ankle. I’m disappointed we didn’t get a result because I thought we were the better side.”