Brighton & Hove Albion winger Jose Izquierdo is back on the road to recovery from a knee injury and is eager to end his spell as a frustrated spectator on the sidelines.
The Colombian is yet to make his first appearance of the season, but is delighted to be back out on the training pitch and make a big step towards his return to action.
He said, “It’s [the knee] getting better, I’ve started training again and it’s been good to get on the ball and back on the grass again with my team-mates.
“It’s the beginning of the season, I’ve seen all the games and the boys are showing good attitude to fight their way back into games.
“I’m talking about the Fulham and Southampton games, where we came back from 2-0 twice and it showed we were in good shape and we have a good mentality.
“It’s hard when you are not on the field and watching the game outside, because you cannot do anything to help.
“When I was watching the Southampton game and we scored in the last minute, I received some calls from my neighbours because I was making a lot of noise in my flat!”
Izquierdo highlighted the importance of not rushing his comeback and explained how he will need to catch up fitness wise after not featuring during pre-season.
“I will have to wait and see what the medical staff say, but I have to check how the knee reacts every day when I come into training.
“The most important thing is how I feel and at the moment, I feel good. Physically I don’t feel too far behind my team-mates, they are a bit further ahead because they played in pre-season and for five games of this season too.
“We will see, but I am very happy to be back in training and we’ll see when I play my first game.”
The 26-year-old also spoke about his experiences at the FIFA World Cup with Colombia and thanked Albion for the role they played in their call-up.
“It was a massive experience. I would’ve liked to play more, but it was great to be there. I have to thank Brighton because without their belief in me, this dream wouldn’t have come true.
"The Premier League is more famous around the world compared to the Belgian League, so it’s been easier for the manager of the national team to watch me and see my qualities.
“The season that I had with my goals and assists helped me go to the World Cup. It’s a massive experience that I’ll never forget, and now I’ll work hard and keep dreaming for the next tournament."