David Wheater was delighted to appear for the under-21s on Friday and is now itching for a return to regular first team football.
Wheater, fielded as an eligible overage player, emerged unscathed from his 65-minute cameo in Wanderers’ thrilling under-21 3-3 draw with Manchester City at Ewen Fields on Friday evening.
It was the defender’s first appearance for the Whites after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee back in May last year.
After his relief at a highly encouraging outing, Wheater is now looking to continue his progress in his comeback from injury in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “It’s tremendous to be back. It’s great to get all of the running and getting fit out of the way so I could be back out on the pitch again.
“The game went really well for me, as good as I could expect. Obviously I’m not 100 percent as I only played 65 minutes, but I felt good. Hopefully I’ll play more next time.”
The centre-back allayed any fears of slight issues regarding his injury and stated that his main concern is merely increasing his sharpness and becoming accustomed to defending once again.
“I think I’ll need a bit more time to get sharp but I didn’t feel any pain in my knee,” Wheater said. “It’s more an issue of concentration and getting back to remembering where runners go. All I’ve been doing is running for the last month or so.”
Looking ahead to a crucial few weeks for the 25-year old, Wheater is eager to play as much as possible in a bid to return to the first team at the earliest opportunity.
He said: “It’ll be a few weeks before I take part in first team sessions. There’s a few more under-21 games in the next few weeks or so, so hopefully I’ll get 90 minutes under my belt soon.
“I wanted to play a bit longer so I could to get into the first team a bit quicker, but the doctor said he wanted me to play as long as I did. It’s obviously up to them, they know best but I’m really looking forward to getting back into the first team soon.”