By Rob Kelly
Carl Jenkinson paid tribute to the Arsenal medical team after making his return to action for the Reserves on Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old right back played 45 minutes of the 5-0 win at Norwich after recovering from a back injury that kept him sidelined for three and a half months.
Afterwards Jenkinson spoke of his relief to be playing once again after the most testing period of his career to date.
"It is fantastic to be back,” he told Arsenal Player. “It has been really hard coming in every day and doing my rehab stuff, but I am delighted to be back now.
“The injury felt fine; I had no problems with it at all, which is great news because you never know how you are going to react in a game.
“It is a family club at Arsenal, so there are always people who will put an arm around you and try to help you out.
“The medical team have been fantastic, keeping me motivated and making sure I am doing the right things. I have got a lot to thank them for in terms of getting me back to where I am now, so I am very grateful to them.”
Jenkinson’s last first-team appearance came in the 3-0 victory against West Brom on November 5, and he admits his injury came at the worst possible time.
“I felt like I was starting to come into my own [when it happened] - that was the most frustrating thing,” he said.
“In the last few games I played I was starting to show people what I could do and to then get a setback was hard to take.
“Three and a half months is a long time, so it has been hard work but I think you just have to focus on the future and be positive, so that is what I am going to do.”
Watch the full interview with Carl on Arsenal Player.