The midfielder has missed a huge amount of football in recent seasons, but after a summer break and a pre-season that was carefully managed, even to the point of holding him back when he was raring to do more, Forshaw finally took a huge step toward his ultimate goal with an hour of action against Crewe Alexandra in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.
“It was amazing," he told the BBC.
"I’m back living the dream and enjoying myself. Every day I’m smiling, I’m training, I'm starting to play games now and build fitness. It was tough, I'm not going to lie. It took away from me my biggest passion in the world. To be back, I’m just pleased, relieved.
“I had a little bit of butterflies, but I was fine to be honest and excited all day.
"Then when we came out I had the jitters a little bit but couldn’t wait to get going and get a touch on the ball, I loved it.
“I felt great and I feel really good.
“First and foremost I’ve been pain free now for the whole of pre-season and I am gradually building my fitness," he said.
“The manager, the staff and the physios have been brilliant with me, they’ve managed my load. I've been like a caged animal at times, desperate to do more. But they've been making the decisions on how many minutes I've been playing, so I have to thank them for that."
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