Shaun Barker: Derby defender buoyed by 'miracle' Rams return

Shaun Barker
Shaun Barker was a key man for Derby County before his injury, but has not played since March 2012

Derby County club captain Shaun Barker has described his return to first-team training after nearly three years out injured as "not far off a miracle".

Barker dislocated his right kneecap and damaged ligaments against Nottingham Forest in March 2012 but always said the injury would not end his career.

He trained with the first team on Tuesday and told BBC Radio Derby: "I'm delighted but still unfulfilled.

"It's only half a job done, but to get to this stage isn't far off a miracle."

The 32-year-old has always maintained that he would return, having successfully come back from a serious knee injury that ruled him for seven months in 2011.

He has had three operations following the injury in 2012 and his comeback has had to be delayed on several occasions.

In November Barker went to America for specialist treatment, and although his knee feels "OK" he also said it is "sore at times".

He added: "Hopefully it will improve the more I do and the more it gets used to what I'm asking."