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A huge step

18 December 2013

Paul Robinson is happy to be finally pulling the goalkeeping gloves on once more.

The 34-year-old made his public return to action on Monday night, playing for the Under-21s against Middlesbrough at Leigh Sports Village.

It has been a torrid 12 months for the former England international after complications following a back operation saw the stopper get a blood clot on his lung.

Unable to train until October, Robinson has worked hard on his fitness and after playing 90 minutes in a behind closed doors friendly at the training ground last week against Carlisle United, he was delighted to be out there once more.

"It is nice to be playing, it has been a long, long time," Robinson told Rovers Player after the Middlesbrough match. "It is just nice to be back out on the pitch again, it is nice to be playing.

"I was looking forward to the game more than anything, I played a game at the training ground last week but didn't really get much out of it to be fair as it was it was played in difficult conditions and not a lot in it.

"But I feel I got a lot out of the game tonight, this is what I've been waiting for.

"It is a huge step, it is almost exactly 12 months since I last played, for somebody in my position it is difficult not to have played for 12 months.

"I've gradually build up my training and my fitness work, I've worked really hard with the goalkeepers and the goalkeeping coach to get my bearings again, to get my goalkeeping fitness again because it is a completely different fitness, then integrated back in the team with small-sided games. Then the next step was to play in a full game.

"I'm almost there, it is just that final bit, I need to keep pushing and working hard and hopefully it will come.

"I feel good, I don't want to put a time or a date on it or anything, but I feel good. I'm enjoying my training, I'm absolutely delighted to be playing again and I'll just see how the next couple of weeks go.

"For me it is a big step just getting a game. I'll play as many games as I can at the moment.

"Thanks to Eric and to Colin for letting me play, it is a step on the road to recovery."

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