Derby goalkeeper Adam Legzdins is delighted to be back in action after making a quicker than expected return to fitness.
Legzdins was expected to be out for 12 weeks after suffering a serious ankle injury, but he has recovered three weeks ahead of schedule to give Derby boss Steve McClaren a welcome boost.
The highly-rated 26-year-old made a successful return to action in midweek for the Under 21s, keeping a clean sheet in the 2-0 friendly win over Hull City.
Legzdins was happy to be back playing after over two months out and has now set his sights on challenging Lee Grant for the No.1 shirt in McClaren's starting XI.
"From a personal point of view it is nice to get on the pitch again after nine weeks of being injured," Legzdins told the club's official website.
"Psychologically it is a big step for me and I have been lucky enough that the rehabilitation I have had has been fantastic and I have managed to get back a few weeks ahead of schedule.
"To be put back in there and do the things you know you can do before feels really good, it was a solid performance and you need to get as much as you can out of those games.
"Lee [Grant] and I get on very well and it is good to have a healthy working environment and competition for places.
"It breeds success in any walk of life; so if I can do everything I can with Eric [Steele] to improve myself and get myself sharp and push Lee, I think it will only be good for the squad.
"I want to get the place back and I'll work hard to do that."