Jamie Jones insists he knew he was ready to come back ahead of schedule after he made his first appearance for three months.
The Orient goalkeeper made his return to the side in Saturday’s home defeat to Bradford City after Eldin Jakupovic was recalled from his loan by Hull City.
Jones was forced out of action just after Christmas, missing 19 matches, after suffering a hairline fracture in his back. The O’s shot-stopper was named on the bench for the recent draw at Walsall but the plan was to ease him back into action in several warm-up games.
But the abrupt decision by Hull to recall Jakupovic, due to a kidney injury picked up by Allan McGregor, meant Jones was brought back earlier than anticipated.
He said: “I was always ready and I’ve been training for a while now. I was ready for when the gaffer gave me that shirt. It has maybe come sooner than I expected. But I’m always ready and I proved that out there.
“I felt great being back out there and helping the lads out. My back felt great so it’s brilliant to be back in the team. We want to push on and see what happens in the league. If not then we will have to go through the play-offs but I’m really excited for those.”
The keeper added: “I loved it like I did before getting injured at Christmas.
“It’s a pleasure playing for this club with the lads we’ve got around us. Unfortunately we just couldn’t get the right result.”
Jones looked sharp during his comeback match as he was forced into several decent saves during the second half.
He said: “That’s what I’m there for, to keep us in the game and I hoped we could go down the other end and get one. This time it didn’t happen but I’ve just got to keep doing what I'm doing.”
The 25-year-old has suffered a series of injuries during his time at Brisbane Road but has taken a philosophical attitude towards his setbacks.
Jones said: “Of course it’s frustrating but there’s nothing you can do. It happens in football. People get injured and this one was a freak injury. There’s nothing I could have done about it so I accepted it and the people that came in did a great job. Now I’m here to help them out once again.
“It’s never concerned me that I’ve had a few injuries. I just get on with it and bounce back even better. I’ve never had a recurring injury and I always seem to bounce back. I did that today and I’ll carry on doing that.”
Orient’s hopes of automatic promotion have faded in recent weeks after an indifferent run of results and Jones insists it is vital the O’s find their best form ahead of the run-in.
The keeper said: “We can’t go into the play-offs without that momentum. If you look back at the history of it, teams with momentum tend to do well and get promoted so we’re going to have a good recovery this week. We’re going to do a few good things together and get our heads mentally rested, freshen our legs and really kick on in the next few games.”