gilletT ready to play

Simon Gillett in action against Bristol City. Picture: Liz Mockler D6855LM
Simon Gillett in action against Bristol City. Picture: Liz Mockler D6855LM
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Rovers midfielder Simon Gillett says he is ready whenever manager Sean O’Driscoll gives him the call.

The former Southampton man resumed full training on Thursday after a second lengthy lay-off with a knee injury.

“It was good to be back involved; it seems as though I’ve been out for an eternity,” he told The Star.

Gillett hasn’t played a first-team match since sustaining a medial knee ligament injury in the home game against Derby County in October.

He had hoped to be back playing in early January but tore the same ligament playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Scunthorpe.

Had he come through the game the likelihood is that he would have started the following weekend’s first-team game.

“I did the same movement, a slide tackle, as I had against Derby, just before half-time, and I felt it go,” he said. “I knew that it was bad but I knew straight away that it wasn’t as bad as the first time.”

Gillett had a knee brace fitted again but whereas he had to wear it for around seven weeks after first being sidelined, he only had to wear it for four weeks second time around.

“Obviously I was gutted when I did it again,” said Gillett. “I’d waited a long time to play again and I thought that I was getting there.

“But I’m someone who tries to keep my head up and keep positive.

“The main thing for me when I found out the injury wasn’t as bad as the first time was that I knew that my season wouldn’t be over and that I’d be able to make it back and try and help out. That to me was a really big plus.

“I’d been working hard on my fitness with Ross (Burbeary) and the physio team for a week before I joined in on Thursday and I felt really good and I’m raring to go.

“I’ve had no adverse reaction and my knee has felt really good.

“My first session on Thursday was quite a tough session with some two v twos with a lot of twisting and turning, which was a good test for me and I’m ready whenever called upon.”

Gillett says the injuries will not have an adverse affect on his game.“I’m a whole-hearted player and I like to get stuck in,” he said.

Like everyone connected with the club, Gillett says he has been disappointed with Rovers’ results of late.

“It has been a difficult period,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries at the same time as a tough run of games.

“We’ve had half a squad out injured at times and that has got to be tough for any team - even the likes of Cardiff.

“Hopefully we can get all the lads back out there on the pitch as quickly as possible and start picking up some wins.”