Leeds United's Barry Douglas "optimistic" after first outing since injury blow
Leeds United left-back Barry Douglas says he is "feeling good and optimistic" as he stepped up his return from ruptured knee ligaments on Wednesday evening.
The 29-year-old saw his season end prematurely in April after picking up the issue during the Whites dramatic 3-2 victory over Millwall at Elland Road.
Douglas, though, has been working hard throughout the summer in an attempt to regain full fitness ahead of the new campaign.
The Scot featured for an hour in United's opening friendly of the summer as they ran out 5-0 winners over York City at Bootham Crescent.
A double from Jack Harrison mixed in with goals from Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw handed Leeds a one-sided victory.
The outing, though, brought some much-needed minutes for Marcelo Bielsa's squad with Douglas reaping the benefits more than most following a gruelling rehabilitation process.
"I'm feeling good and optimistic," he revealed.
"It's been a patient rehabilitation process for myself. It's nice to finally get back on the pitch and play. I'm not going to push it too much.
"I know I need to be patient to get to full tilt but it's a step in the right direction and I'm happy to get through it unscathed.
"At the stage I'm at I'm almost back to 100 per cent. It's probably about just irritating it now and again to get that belief and confidence within myself that it is fine.
"Everything else physically I feel good. Again, it's just about getting minutes and getting back to match sharpness."
Asked about how pre-season was taking shape under Bielsa at Thorp Arch, he added: "I think we know what to expect.
"Regardless of how you prepare yourself pre-season is never easy. Especially under the way that we train. All the hard work, demands and moans are worth it when you get to playing.
"Now is the time the games are going to come thick and fast to prepare us for the start of the season."