Knee and hip injuries restricted Paul to just one appearance between October 25 and January 27 – coincidently, against Southend again in the Carling Cup – and the inactivity has been a struggle for player used to turning out week in, week out.
“This season has been very isolated because I’m used to playing and not being injured,” he reflected.
“It’s been frustrating, after my knee injury at MK Dons I didn’t feel too bad but I played one game against Southend and got injured again, that was a big fight to get back because mentally, when you’ve just spent six weeks getting back, to face another six weeks is a difficult one.
“After some hard work and good rehabilitation I feel fit again and ready to go. It’s been a long haul but hopefully that’s the end of it.
“The more we keep going in the cups, the more we keep winning then the games are there to be played and hopefully I’ll be able to contribute to the team whenever called upon.”
Paul Stalteri admits it was tough getting over the second of his two lengthy injuries this season.The Canadian full-back returned to the side for only his third start of the campaign in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Southend United in the FA Cup.