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Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

Everton's Miklela Arteta glad to be back from injury

MiKel Arteta
Arteta came on as substitute to play 15 minutes against Birmingham

Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has spoken of his relief at being over his injury problems after playing in Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Birmingham.

The Spaniard has been out of action since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in February 2009.

"I was feeling a bit strange on the pitch as it's been a long time," Arteta told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"I was so excited on just to get on. For me it's been a really good day and I hope those bad days are past."

The 27-year-old was at the heart of much of Everton's best play last season before picking up the knee injury against Newcastle in February.

Arteta says he has grown as a person while he has been out of action and just wants to start matches as soon as possible.

"I've been away for a long time and I've been training hard to get back," he said.

"It's been difficult and I have learned a lot. I've had three surgeries for three different reasons.

"But it's a part of football and sometimes when you're out you can see things differently. But I'm glad to be back and I couldn't wait.

"Hopefully now I can start giving the team something different."

But manager David Moyes says Arteta is still a long way from being considered for a starting place and the midfielder accepts he has to be patient.

"It's going to take a little time," Arteta said. "[Moyes] said to me last week he wants to manage the situation the best way he can.

"I just want to make it a hard decision for him and play as many games and as many minutes as possible.

"The lads out there deserve to be playing before me at the moment. So I need to gain the manager's confidence now."

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