Michael O’Connor was relieved to have gotten a mentally challenging couple of months out of the way after making his return to action last night.
The 28-year-old played an hour of Vale’s reserve clash with local rivals Stoke City and said his knee felt fine.
The influential midfielder has been out of contention since pre-season when he picked up a ligament injury against Bolton Wanderers.
Speaking to the press following the match, O’Connor admitted he was delighted to have made his comeback.
“It’s been a long while, it’s just good to get back on the pitch and just get on there and get back into it,” he said.
“I’m feeling alright, I’ve had a good ten weeks with John the fitness coach. He’s get me fit.
“I think it’s been more tougher mentally for me, doing four or five weeks pre-season and then doing another ten weeks pre-season it feels like.
“So it’s been mentally tough for me but I’ve got through it and I’m glad to be back on the pitch.”
Rob Page’s side head to Southend United this weekend in Sky Bet League One and O’Connor said he could travel with the squad if there's no reaction to the injury over the next couple of days.
“The plan was to get through 60 minutes tonight and see how I am tomorrow,” he said.
“I feel okay fitness wise, my knee might be a bit sore tomorrow but I’m hoping to be traveling with the lads this weekend.”