STEPHEN Kingsley admits being nursed up in the Hull City treatment room was one of the hardest times of his career.
The Tigers’ full-back made his return to action in City’s 2-2 draw at Wolves on Tuesday night following a six-month layoff after groin surgery.
Kingsley played 70 minutes against the league leaders in what was only his sixth outing since swapping Swansea for Humberside last summer.
Nigel Adkins’s side came from behind at Molineux to lead 2-1 but were pegged back by Oskar Buur’s late strike to ensure the spoils were shared.
Kingsley admits he is happy to be back in the first-team fold and is ready to play his part in steering the club to Championship safety.
“It was a great occasion to come back into after such a horrible six or seven months out,” said the 23-year-old.
“It’s definitely been the hardest (time) of my career, probably even my life.
“I’ve just wanted to get this injury out of the way.
“I was delighted to get back out there on the pitch and help the boys get a good result. I’ve had a few weeks’ training but it’s been difficult with some little setbacks, nothing major.
“That’s only natural when you’re coming back from so long out but this was a step in the right direction and I’m hoping to kick on now.”
The Tigers are seven points clear of third-bottom Barnsley, although the Reds do have a game in hand.
The next three matches see Hull take on QPR and Sheffield Wednesday, with a trip to bottom club Burton Albion sandwiched between.
Kingsley is acutely aware of the opportunity to widen that gap in that upcoming triple-header.
The Scot added: “These three games coming up are huge – they’re absolutely vital.”