Gills defender Matt Fish plays first game in over eight months after serious knee injury

Matt Fish made his long awaited Gills comeback on Tuesday afternoon after playing in a development game away at Southend.

ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligament and was ruled out for the entire campaign as a result.opening day of the season against Colchester,The 24-year-old right-back, who was injured in the first few minutes on the

However after some expert help from the club's medical department and continuous hard work from the player himself, he may well be in a position to appear for the first team before the end of the season.

Fish played 60 minutes against the Seasiders, and after the game development boss Mark Patterson commented on his performance.

Speaking to the club website he said: “He did very well considering it was his first competitive game since the start of the season – he looked fit, strong and bright and did all of the things you would expect from a Matt Fish.

“He got up and down the pitch, he was crossing balls at one end and making blocks at the other end and he put in a good hour so we are all really pleased for him that he has made his way back and hopefully in the next match he can get a full game in.

“We left that [how long he played] up to him; we said to him you tell us how you feel and when we got to half time he said he was fine so we let him have an extra 15 and when he came off he said he could have played longer.

“But having been out for such a long time it’s important we don’t push him too quickly – he was competing and we have another game next Tuesday at Brentford so the likelihood is that he will play there, perhaps even get 90 minutes because it didn’t look like he was struggling and he has worked hard in the gym to get fit.”

“Terrific news, he’s worked extremely hard and It is a very lonely place when you have a long term injury because you have to have discipline to work and train yourself and he’s done well, as have the physio’s, they’ve worked extremely hard.  Peter Taylor added:

“We haven’t pushed him at all to play before the end of the season but after all the training he has done recently, I think this game was just right for him.

“The whole idea of the games is to give him confidence for when he comes back for pre-season, because then he knows he played a game and can concentrate on getting fit.”

Gills lost the game 5-0, but Fish, Antonio German, Adam Birchall and Gary Borrowdale all featured.

Watch Peter’s exclusive interview on Gills Player shortly.