Iain Wilson concedes his return to action was ‘a long time coming’ as the Dunfermline midfielder opened up on a gruelling six months on the sidelines.
The former Kilmarnock and Queen of the South star entered the fray on the hour-mark on Saturday, helping the Pars to a hard-fought 0-0 stalemate against Partick Thistle.
It was a cathartic afternoon for the 22-year-old, given he has been absent since a draw with Hearts on April 3.
Since then, Wilson has endured issues with both achilles and been gradually guided back to full fitness; a maddeningly slow progress at times.
But he was finally back on the grass at Firhill — and is pushing for a start when fierce foes Raith Rovers visit East End Park tonight.
“It was good to get back out on the park, it has been a long time coming,” said Wilson.
“It has been frustrating, I have had issues with both my achilles and have been trying to get over that — but hopefully I am now on the right track to move forward.
“[Last season] I was playing through it and don’t know if I damaged it too much. There is no set in stone way to treat it, so it was just about trying to find what is right for me.
“Hopefully that’s it sorted and I can move on and forget about it.
“It was fine on Saturday — just a bit tired!”
‘The wins will come’
Wilson’s spell on the sidelines was made all the more galling due to Dunfermline’s on-field tribulations.
The Pars remain winless in the league and rock-bottom of the Championship, albeit they have steadied the ship with five draws from their last six outings.
Now, Wilson hopes to play his part in a resurgence on the Halbeath Road.
🎥 Iain Wilson made it 1-1 on the night in the 113th minute pic.twitter.com/gARN4EdNwU
— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) December 16, 2020
“The manner of the defeats in the first games was the more disappointing,” recalled Wilson. “It has been tough but I think we have been pretty solid at the back in the past few weeks.
“We have been tight and, in this league, if you can stay in the game you always have a chance of winning.
“If we keep doing that, I’m sure the wins will come.”
On the impact of boss Peter Grant, Wilson added: “It has been good and a fresh start. He has been good to work with.”
That feeling is mutual.
Grant has been fulsome in his praise for Wilson during his absence, insisting he has the ability to be a key man for the Pars once back to full fitness.
“It is nice to hear your manager say things like that about you,” added Wilson. “If I can keep getting better fitness-wise, and with my achilles, then I will be able to give something back.”