Dundalk midfielder Patrick McEleney has declared himself ready for action after making his return from injury against Finn Harps on Friday night.
The 27-year-old hadn’t featured for the first team since picking up a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win away to Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup semi-final at the end of last September.
Having missed out on the run-in to the league and last November’s Cup final, McEleney had been hoping to hit the ground running this season but an Achilles problem curtailed his involvement in the early weeks of the season.
Speaking to The Argus after Dundalk’s 4-0 win over Finn Harps on Friday though, the Derry native said it had finally been resolved and he says his fitness is now in such a good place that he feels ready to start against St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday should he be called upon.
“It’s brilliant to be back,” he said.
“It has been a long time. I picked up an injury in pre-season and just couldn’t shift it. It was a really frustrating one to be honest with you but I’m just happy to be back now.
“My Achilles just kept swelling up and I just couldn’t shift it. I was doing everything I could to sort it and just nothing was working for me but thankfully Danny (Miller) and Murph (David Murphy) got it right in the end.
“It’s perfect now. I’ve no pain whatsoever so it’s all gone and that’s a credit to the medical staff.”
McEleney admitted that the last few weeks have been frustrating but is now hopeful he can force his way back into the side.
“After missing the Cup final and the end of last year I was thinking I’d have a good pre-season and get myself right. You have this perfect plan in your head but it doesn’t always work out but I’m back now and I was just delighted to get a run-out tonight and I’m already looking forward to next week now.
“I’ve been doing cardio nearly every morning before the lads even come in. There’s no hiding place in Dundalk when you’re injured. It’s really tough as everyone knows so I feel I’m ready.
“I definitely want to be involved on Friday night. It’s up to me now to have a good week in training and show I should be involved. Whatever is decided then is up to the staff but I’ll be ready,” he said.