Odemwingie delighted to be back after tough injury lay-off

Peter Odemwingie
Peter Odemwingie

Nigeria international Peter Odemwingie said he was delighted to be kicking a football again with Stoke City after overcoming his tough injury lay-off.

The 33-year-old has been sidelined since suffering an agonising cruciate knee ligament injury in Stoke's 1-0 win at Manchester City at the end of August.

But after coming through his first two days of full training with the first-team, Odemwingie is pleased with how things have gone so far.

"You don't know what to expect after being out for long but I feel good," he told BBC Sport

"I've started regaining the confidence all over again and it's just a case of keeping that going.

"The more you train and get involved the more you get into a rhythm and the more confident you feel, that's just how it works."

Odemwingie, whose current deal at the Britannia Stadium is due to run out at the end of the season, insists his future is not the overriding issue at the moment.

"It's obvious I am approaching the end of my contract but getting fit again has always been the priority," he said.

"I've scaled the hurdles before me to get here, what's important now is to hopefully get a few games and we'll see what happens.

"I'm just happy with the progress so far and hopefully if I can make a contribution I believe it will happen on its own."

Odemwingie, who has played in Belgium, France and Russia, is grateful for the support he enjoyed during his rehabilitation.

"The medical team stood by me and I also enjoyed tremendous support from the players, coaching staff and Stoke fans.

"It's easy to forget someone who's out injured while everyone has been playing and doing well but I never felt that way here.

"The fans kept singing my name while I was away and that's touching. I hope to get a chance to thank them properly on the pitch now that I am back."

The former West Bromwich Albion forward made a significant impact during the second half of last season after joining Stoke City in a swap deal with Cardiff's Kenwyne Jones in January 2014.

He scored five goals in 15 Premier League appearances for the Potters.

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