Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Beram Kayal expressed his happiness to return to action after a nine-week injury layoff, and thanked a number of people for supporting him during his rehabilitation.
The Israeli played an hour for Albion’s under-23 side in their 2-2 draw against Blackburn Rovers at the Amex on Monday, also scoring from long range in the first half, and he showed his relief to be back playing football.
“My family, people at the club, physios and doctors; Adam [Brett] has been amazing with me, he’s pushed me forward and I’m now happy to be fit.
“I played the first 60 minutes and it’s always nice to be out with the boys, training as well. I feel so good now, and game by game, I’m going to feel much better.
“I need to take my fitness level higher, but it will come with time, training every day. I’ve been doing extra over the last few weeks, so I could play 60 minutes straight away after nine weeks out.”
Kayal reflected on this summer’s pre-season period, as he picked up his injury shortly before the start of the Premier League season, and highlighted his determination to return fitter and stronger.
“I was unlucky to get injured a week before the season started. I was working unbelievably hard during pre-season to keep myself in the first team.
“Getting injured in the last minute of the first half in the Atletico Madrid game, it was not the best feeling.
“But I had two options - one, was to feel down, but the other was to fight back and be strong again. My choice was also going to be to fight and get back into the team.”
Despite Kayal’s absense, the Seagulls have opened the season with eight points from eight games, and the central midfielder commented on his team’s start to life in the Premier League.
“They’ve done very well, it’s an exciting time for everyone at the club, but I’m obviously disappointed about the result on Sunday, to concede a penalty in the last minute.
“We deserved to win, but hopefully the results are coming. We’re speaking about a draw against a team like Everton, and it feels like a defeat.
“But we’ve had a positive start, we’re enjoying the moment and we need to keep working hard.”