CENTRE back Robbie Cundy said spending the last 11 months out injured has been one of the worst periods of his career so far - but is pleased there’s finally a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.

The 26-year-old hasn’t played for the Reds since April 29 last year in a 4-4 draw with MK Dons, missing almost a year of first-team football with glute and hip issues.

Cundy played 80 minutes in the u21’s 3-1 win at home to Coventry City on Tuesday on the main Oakwell pitch.

It’s the longest he’s spent on the pitch since his injury.

He told the Chronicle: “It’s my third game - I’m getting my fitness back.

“I’m enjoying it and I’ve got to see where it takes me from now.

“I think I’ve got enough minutes in my legs but it’s down to the manager.

“I’ve got to keep doing my thing in training.”

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Cundy suffered a similar injury before joining Barnsley which kept him out for a lengthy period of time - and he admits this injury has been one of the worst periods of his career.

“It’s up there (with the worst time of his career) - I had an injury a similar time a few years ago,” he added.

“It’s something I’ve had my whole life and it’s suddenly giving me stick.

“It’s been frustrating but I try and not take it home with me.

“It’s been tough but there’s light at the end of the tunnel now.”

The former Bristol City defender has praised his family, the backroom staff and former physio Vikki Stevens for the way he recovered.

“I couldn’t do a lot of sport because I was in a little bit of pain,” he said.

“I was doing my normal stuff at home with the Mrs - she’s been a big help.

“My family have been helping me get through it.

“Vicky, whose left now, has been a big help.

A lot of credit goes to her but also to the others here.”

He’s now hoping to play as many minutes in the last eight games of the season as he can - and he believes he brings something different to the Reds backline.

He added: “You never want to be watching from the sidelines.

“When you’re fit you don’t realise how lucky you are.

“It takes an injury to realise that.

“I’ve got to keep on top of things and hopefully I’ll get my chance.

“I think I bring a bit more aerial threat going forward and defending.

“The lads are doing well so I’m not saying I’ll just walk back in.

“There’s a lot of competition and that’s good to help drive you on.

“I’m back fit and so I’ve just got to do my best and everything I can at home and in training.

“Hopefully I can get as many games from now until the end of the season as I can.”