Gareth Bale was delighted to be back in action in our Carling Cup victory at Preston this week following his return from injury.
The Welsh international tore a knee ligament just after the end of last season, ruling him out of our summer games and the start of the current campaign.
"It has been a frustrating time being out so it is good to be finally back out playing for the first team.
"Nobody likes to be injured, I just had to get my head down and work hard so I could get back on the pitch. I was thankful to get back out there."
But despite a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Gareth looked like he'd never been away at Deepdale, putting in an impressive performance and setting up Peter Crouch's opening goal in the 5-1 win.
It was testament to the hard work the attacking full-back has put in on his comeback trail.
He said: "It's a lot of hard work and probably harder than when the fit players train. It is good to get the hard work in, get fitness under your belt - then get a game to pick up match fitness.
"You do your fitness work off the pitch, but there is nothing like a game to get really fit. It was a good work-out against Preston and I enjoyed it.
"I felt really good, I worked hard in training and had a reserve game last week, which helped me big-time. I felt sharp and hopefully I can continue to play well.
"That is why we do the rehab, to get our touch back before we return to training. We then ease ourselves back into training before getting to go back out on the pitch.
"It was good to get an assist, hopefully I can get a few more this season and we keep winning."
Now Burnley visit the Lane in the Premier League on Saturday, although Gareth knows he will have to keep up his hard work to force his way into Harry Redknapp's regular starting eleven.
"I will have to be patient. All I can do is keep working hard in training and do my best. Hopefully the gaffer will see that and I get back in the starting line-up."