On eve of Leeds return, Robert Snodgrass on ‘the toughest challenge of my life’

FIT-AGAIN Hull City winger Robert Snodgrass says that overcoming his 16-month injury hell has represented the toughest challenge of his life.

Robert Snodgrass is pictured playing a pre-season friendly for Hull against York City on July 23, 2014, just weeks after joining the club from Norwich City for £7m, and a few days before he would dislocate his kneecap on the opening day of last season. Sixteen months later he finally made his first-team return at Manchester City on Tuiesday night, and now hopes to face former club Leeds on Saturday. (Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire)

The Scotland international made his eagerly-awaited first appearance since dislocating his kneecap on the opening day of the 2014-15 season in Tuesday night’s 4-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat at Manchester City – coming on as a late substitute.

The 28-year-old was given a rousing reception from 5,000 visiting fans at the Etihad Stadium after entering the fray on 74 minutes with manager Steve Bruce confident that he will prove a ‘huge addition’ for the promotion-chasing Tigers following his return to action.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

On his long road back to fitness, Snodgrass – who joined for £7m from Norwich in the summer of 2014 – said: “It’s been the toughest challenge of my life. No question about it – I realised that a few months into the injury.

“With injuries like the one Michael Dawson has with his hamstring, you can see improvement week to week.

“But a year down the line, I was still out and it was a very challenging battle and I have come through that side. And Tuesday was why I was brought to the club; to be out there in front of crowds and showing people what I can do.

“The physios have been terrific along with family, friends and my agent as well. He has stuck by me through thick and thin.

“In the dark days, you see who is who and my team-mates have also helped me along the way and geed me up and you need that. That’s what being part of a team is all about. From a personal point of view, it’s like winning a battle. Tuesday was a hurdle after being nearly 16 months out.”

Snodgrass, an unused substitute in Friday’s Championship defeat to Derby, is eager to make up for lost time and is now eyeing involvement in Saturday’s derby at former club Leeds United.

On his first playing return to Elland Road since his transfer to Norwich for an undisclosed fee in July 2012, the former Whites captain added: “It is one where I am hoping to play some part in.”

Point to prove: Page 20