Nicky Low has revealed that while his Dundee team-mates enjoyed a well-earned rest last week, he was sweating his way through some punishing running sessions.
The midfielder, who has just turned 25, has endured a frustrating time because of injury and illness since he joined the Dark Blues from Aberdeen two summers ago.
His latest setback was a groin problem picked up playing for the Dundee Under-20s that kept him sidelined for a fortnight.
Low has only featured twice for boss Paul Hartley’s first team this season and the last time he was in the match-day squad was against Motherwell on November 5 when he was an unused sub.
He did play for 45 minutes against Arbroath on Tuesday night in a friendly at Gayfield but the player admits he will have to go out on loan to get fully back up to speed again.
Low said: “It was nice to get a bit of game time again.
“It has been really frustrating since I joined Dundee so it was good to be back playing with the boys.
“I must be giving the manager a headache.
“I was fit for a few months but then I hurt my groin in one of the Under-20 games and I have been out for two weeks.
“I just went to strike a ball and I felt it.
“So it has been really frustrating as every time I come back into the fold, I am training for a week or two to get my fitness back and it looks like I will be in the squad but then I’m injured again.
“It will also be frustrating for the manager as he was the one who signed me.
“I haven’t really been able to show the fans what I can do.
“I came here obviously wanting to play and help the team but I have had too many injuries to be honest.
“I was in training with Morton last week to keep my fitness up. That was local for me.
“I didn’t want time off and the manager agreed.
“The last thing I want is time off – I would be in every day if I could just so long as I wasn’t injured.
“So I did a few running sessions at Morton just so I could come back raring to go.
“The lads had time off and they deserved it as it has been a hard season so far.
“So I was just working away trying to catch up with the rest of the lads.”
Now he is back fit again, Low admits he will consult with his manager about going out on loan.
He said: “Yes, of course, it is something we have spoken about.
“I didn’t want to rush into anything because I was injured. It is obviously not fair going into another team and not being fit.
“Hopefully I can get another week or two of fitness work into me and then maybe look to a loan.
“I will speak to the gaffer at the end of the week and take it from there.
“But it is something I’d need to look to do.
“I still have another year on my contract with Dundee but I need to get playing regularly to show what I can do.
“I have not been able to do that and it has been frustrating for all of us at the club.
“But hopefully if I can play week in, week out somewhere and do well, then I could come back and fight for a place in the team.”
Low is under no illusions about how difficult it will be to force his way back into the reckoning with the Dundee squad in rude good health at the moment as shown by the fact that Hartley was able to field almost two totally different teams in each half against the Red Lichties.
The player added: “When everybody is fit apart from me, it is a big squad.
“It is good for the manager as it gives him some nice problems.
“The boys have really picked up in the last couple of months results wise.
“We are climbing the table to get away from the bottom of the league.
“There are boys on the bench champing at the bit to get to play but they will have to wait while the lads on the pitch just have to keep playing well.”