'There's been some dark days': Charlie Wyke on injury, lack of confidence in his knee and Sunderland return
Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke admits he's had some 'dark days' after missing the majority of the season with a knee injury.
The summer signing has been sidelined since September after suffering a ligament injury against Burton Albion.
The 25-year-old had missed the start of the season after suffering a knee problem in the summer with his old club Bradford City, and admits he'd never felt confident that it had fully recovered before he was forced back into the treatment room.
But he says he's not far off a return, with Boxing Day's game against his old club Bradford pencilled in.
"It's been a long and frustrating six months, so it's good to finally be back out there and I'm enjoying every minute of it," he said.
"When I first came back, something wasn't right and I was still getting aches and pains in my knee.
"I wasn't really confident in my knee when I came back last time and one collision made it happen again, so I've done an extra few weeks running and been more patient this time."
Wyke, Sunderland's big signing of the summer, scored on his debut for the Black Cats, stepping off the bench to earn an equaliser against Oxford United.
And having played a training game last week, he's now chomping at the bit to get back into first-team action.
"Scoring at the Stadium of Light was one of the best feelings I've had during my career, but the next week I found myself injured again, not knowing when I'd return," he told the Red & White programme.
"I won't lie, it's tough coming on an afternoon by yourself and there's been some dark days, but there's a great bunch of lads here.
"Without the set-up we have, it could have been a lot more difficult, bit I've fitted straight in here and I feel good.
"I think we're trying to get 40,000 fans there [for Boxing Day], so it will be a great game to play in, and hopefully I'll be able to play my part,"
"The Christmas period is class because you play game after game, and that allows you to build a lot of momentum and put points on the board.
"I want that buzz you get from winning games every week and I want to help us achieve our goal this season, which ultimately is promotion,
"We've got so much quality in the team, and to be honest I've been jealous sitting there watching the types of crosses and balls going into the box that we produce.
"I want to be on the end of those, but I'm feeling fit and won't have to wait much longer."