BARRY DOUGLAS is hoping to reap the rewards of a summer of rehab with the Leeds United defender feeling strong ahead of his second season at Elland Road.
Douglas saw his first season at Leeds disrupted by injury with the defender straining his hamstring in the 1-0 win at Hull City in October.
The defender returned to the side the following month but was then ill over Christmas and bothered by further muscle issues in the new year with the honest left back also admitting that his performances had been short of what was required.
Douglas took to social media in January to say “personally not been good enough from me lately and I hold my hands up.”
Two months later, the Glaswegian then ruptured the medial ligament in his knee during March’s 3-2 win against Millwall at Elland Road.
The 29-year-old has had since had surgery on the problem and the defender is now hoping that his hard work to regain full fitness over the summer pays dividends in his second campaign since signing from Wolves.
“I’m just trying to stay fit,” Douglas told the YEP.
“I came into the season and felt fine, in really good form, picked up and injury and then I was struggling to get back and I probably rushed back the second time.
“Over the Christmas period I was just a bit inconsistent, I wasn’t really feeling myself properly.
“I’m looking forward to it, I have got a full pre-season under my belt and the guys are in great condition going into the season.
"Nothing is going to be won and lost in the first game so it’s about just maintaining the whole season and looking after ourselves a bit better than last year.”
Reflecting on his fitness ahead of Sunday’s Championship opener at Bristol City, Douglas said: “I feel good, my knee feels strong and obviously my summer was changed a bit after the operation and it was a summer of rehab for me.
“I’ve been working really hard to get back and hopefully the rewards are there going into the season.”