QPR midfielder Sam Field says his knee feels stronger than ever after undergoing surgery to repair the injury which has sidelined him since he made his loan move from West Brom permanent last June.
The former England Under-21 international suffered damage to his medial ligament during pre-season training and after struggling with a similar problem during a loan spell at Charlton 18 months ago, the decision was made to put him under the knife and get the issue sorted once and for all.
Field, 23, completed his first 90 minutes since a 3-0 win over Coventry last April in an Under-23s match against Ipswich on Tuesday as he stepped up his return to fitness.
And he feels he’s now ready to challenge for a first-team place having been named on the bench at Blackpool last Saturday.
“I am really happy with where I am,” Field said.
“It’s at a stage now where it’s just trying to get back up to speed and get going again and that (Ipswich) game was perfect for me.
“There was lots of passing, lots of tackling and getting stuck in and the knee feels great it’s just a case of plugging away and doing my best to get back in the first team now.”
An MRI scan after he suffered the latest injury setback revealed that the reason for Field’s knee issues was down to a gap in the ligament which was weakening the joint.
He said the surgery has not only fixed the problems but has also given him a great opportunity to kick-start his Rangers career, which started in dream fashion with a goal on his debut in the 2-1 win over Brentford last season.
“The last year and a bit it has been the same knee that has been causing me problems and it was a case of getting back then getting injured again, so it is a relief to get it all sorted and I can get a bit of rhythm,” he said.
“We had managed to avoid surgery in the past but it was one of those where I knew I would have to have it done and all went really well, the physios have been great with me.
“My knee was about 60 or 70 per cent of what it should have been so now I am full of confidence in it and I have had no ill-effects from tackling or after games so I am dead happy with it.
“The knee is better than it has ever been.”
After impressing in his loan spell in the second half of last season, Field said he couldn’t wait to get started as an official QPR player, but is philosophical about having to sit and wait for his chance.
“It’s football, you rest on your laurels it kicks you up the backside,” he said.
“It was a bit of a shame with the injury, but I saw it as a blessing as I have finally got the knee sorted and there is plenty of the season left to play and hopefully I can be involved.
“I was really happy with how last season ended and it was a dead easy decision to sign here in the summer.
“It was done very quickly at the end of the season. It took about a week and to have it done over the summer given what was going on with Covid and everything you can’t hang around.
“I was very happy with what they offered and it was a case of get it signed and get going.
“I am still trying to find a house and I have been down here about six months, but I love it down here.
“We have a lot of competition for places in midfield and I welcome that and really want the lads to all do well, but at the same time I want to play.”