If it seems like an eternity since Andy Yiadom was helping the Royals secure a 3-1 away win at Birmingham City...it's because it was. It has been more than five months since the Royals' right-back was darting up and down that right flank.
A hamstring injury proved frustratingly problematic, causing Yaidom to miss all nine of our post-lockdown matches at the end of 2019-20. But now he is back out on the training pitch, doing what he does best...
"I’m taking it day by day, but I started training with the boys when we all came back in at the end of last week and it’s been good," Yiadom said.
"I’ve been getting through the sessions, we’ve been tweaking them a little bit for me because I’ve been out for such a long period, but it’s been good.
"Over the short break, I stayed here and I was in at Bearwood over the holidays as I tried to get ready for the season.
"It was really annoying to be out during the post-lockdown games. I tried to get back quick so I could play a part in the last eight or nine, but it just wasn’t right and I had to accept that.
"So I was in here over the summer to do everything I can to make sure I’m right for the start of this season.
"And I am feeling good. I’m just looking forward to the season starting now."
The squad showed they were in good spirits as soon as they reconvened at Bearwood for the hard graft of pre-season preparations. "We’ve got a smaller squad at the moment - a few boys from the Under-23s have come in to train with the group," Andy continued.
"Josh has come in and he’ll be a good addition – and I’m sure a few more new faces will come in. There is a good spirit around the place.
"At the moment, everyone is working hard to impress and looking forward to that first game of the season.
"And hard work is key. All the boys here know that and we’re all working extremely hard, putting a shift in.
"I think we’ve got a few friendly games on the horizon. But friendlies are friendlies – when the competitive stuff starts it’s a completely different ball game. So all our eyes are already on the first game of the season."