Midfielder Matty Lund was in action for Dale against Blackpool in the Lancashire Senior Cup on Wednesday afternoon as he took another step forward on his road to recovery.
Lund has been side-lined since December after undergoing surgery on a dislocated shoulder, and the midweek inclusion in the squad was his first taste of match action since sustaining the injury on Boxing Day.
Speaking to www.rochdaleafc.co.uk after Wednesday’s fixture, Lund admitted that he’s delighted to be making progress.
“It was great to be back on the pitch and be around the lads again because there’s nothing better than playing football.
“I’ve been doing weights and keeping myself fit but I've had no body contact [in a training environment] since Boxing Day, so it has been a bit strange. Today [Wednesday] and Tuesday were the first two days of me having any contact, so it was good to get near people."
Lund has spent the majority of the season on the side-lines after sustaining the same shoulder injury earlier in the campaign, and while it goes without saying that he’d much rather have been involved, he says it has been a pleasure to watch from the stands.
“It has been great to watch from the side-lines and see us winning, although obviously it has been hard.
“The lads have worked so hard this year and have done exceptionally well in this league, so all credit to them. Obviously Tuesday night was disappointing against a very good Swindon team, but you’ve got to look at the whole picture. They’ve been fantastic and that shows with the position that we’re in now.
“And no-one has given up. We’ve got a game in hand and all it takes is for us to win on Saturday and Chesterfield to lose and we’re right back in it. There’s no pressure on us and the lads are going to keep going into each game looking to get the three points.”