Charlton midfielder Josh Cullen was pleased to last ninety minutes on his return from nearly three months out with a dislocated shoulder.
The West Ham-loanee suffered the injury during a 2-0 away win at Walsall in early November but came straight in to start the Addicks’ home clash with Accrington Stanley due to a knock to fellow engine-roomer Albie Morgan.
“It was fantastic to be back out there,” explained the 22-year-old, as his side ran out 1-0 winners thanks to an added-time Karlan Grant penalty.
“The feeling yesterday, on a Friday, that I’ve missed. Having the little buzz of having a game the next day. It was brilliant to be out there and getting ninety minutes under my belt as well for my fitness. Onwards and upwards from here.
“The good thing is with a dislocated shoulder is that from two or three days after I had the surgery I’ve been on the bike every day. Then I’ve been able to be outside running for the last month or so.
“[Fitness] has not really been too much of an issue. If it’s your ankle or your knee you have to be more careful. It sets you back running. I felt OK out there today. 90 minutes in the bank, I can put that one behind me and look forward to another big game next weekend.
“Not ever since I’ve been in senior football [have I suffered a long-term absence]. When I was in the under-23s at West Ham I broke my leg, which was a three-and-a-half month-er, which was tough. It’s always tough.
“The hardest bit about it is being away from the lads. You’re doing your own thing and you see them go out and train and you want to be out there. It’s quite tough mentally but I just knew that I had to do everything properly. Make sure I was getting as fit as I can and getting my shoulder as strong as it possibly can be. This is where I’m at. I’m happy to have got through 90 minutes today. We have to go again next week now.”