The midfielder feels he's over his knee problems.
"Even when Steve Bruce took over, his first pre-season I got injured through it - hurt my ankle in a tackle.
"It is so hard to play catch up if you miss it.
"When you come back from an injury, you start running, then you join in with the reserves. That's tough and then it's even tougher when you join in with the first team.
"It's harder again when you get to a reserve-team game and the pinnacle of the lot is a Premier League game.
"Lots of players struggle there, never mind if you've been out eight or nine months.
"To come back and reach that level of fitness and to be able to compete in a game of that calibre is tough."