The importance of Fraser Fyvie to Dundee United’s promotion hopes is obvious to all.
But there will be no short-cuts taken to get the Tannadice captain back into Csaba Laszlo’s first team.
Fyvie got 20 minutes of action for a young United side in the IRN-BRU Cup on Saturday however that doesn’t mean he is about to take on too much, too soon.
“I was delighted to be back,” he said. “That’s after three weeks training and 25 minutes of a game.
“I’ve got through it fine, it felt good, so I’m happy with that.
“There’s still a long way to go but it’s a good start for me.
“I need to build it up. So next week I will go and play 45 minutes, then 60 and 90 and so on.”
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Fyvie’s eight-and-a-half months on the sidelines have made him appreciate what he’s been missing since he sustained his serious knee injury last December.
The former Wigan and Aberdeen man said: “I’ve had injuries before but this one has made me really appreciate how good it is to be a footballer and how lucky I am.
“The first three months out were hell – my wife will tell you that. And she’s as happy as I am to see me back.”
Fyvie added: “The physio, Craig Reynolds, has been first class and I take my hat off to him.
“He has been with me for eight-and-a-half months and sometimes I’ve been in the gym for four or five hours a day.
“I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me. He’s kept me going, he’s kept me bright and I put where I am down to him.
“I always do my work. I’ve worked really hard. I’ve got through it and he’s the biggest one who I can say is the reason I am really confident with my knee.”