Danilo has spoken for the first time after returning to the squad after his knee surgery. Here is everything he told RangersTV.

How has it been for you so far?

It has been great actually. The past few months have been really costly for me but now being back with the team, all the hard work in the gym and outside, it has been paying off. I am still going. It is amazing just to be with the boys.

What has the rehab been like?

It has been crazy to be honest with you. I look back and every time there are things I wish I could do that at the moment I could not do. It was hard, it was hard. I think those moments make me even more stronger. It has been difficult to what I was used to every day and every week. It was so different when I was with the boys for those couple of days. Everyone was really relaxed with me and really patient if there were some things that I didn’t do so good. They all gave me really good confidence as well. It has been great.

Was it about making those little targets and making progress?

Yeah, 100 per cent. There was every moment like I remember my first running, my first contact with the ball again. It was just like being a kid when you start to play football. It was in my happy place to be back on the field. I still have a lot to work on and still not 100 per cent there yet but I am working hard to be ready and back on the field.

It must feel good to come in for pre-season?

Yeah, 100 per cent. Also last year I didn’t have the opportunity to have all the pre-season with the boys, I arrived a little bit later. I think now it is good to be started for pre-season with the boys and get that click again, the connections.

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It has been a really long journey for me. Right now the most important thing is to take care of my knee and make sure I am 100 per cent ready for the games. It is good to build the confidence in the friendly games.

You became a father during your rehab as well…

I spoke with everyone at some point and I was always looking at the positive things when I had my knee but then my daughter was about to be born and it was like ‘wow’. I didn’t want to be in this situation when she was coming into the world. I was working really hard for that so that when she was born I was really good to carry her and then walk. She gave me so much strength to get through those hard moments. She is the light of the darkness for me. That is the words I would say.

How supportive were your teammates?

I think the boys are part of the family. Those moments every time when I was head down a little bit and could not see any progression, even though I had to just be patient, there was the moment when everyone was like ‘you are always a positive guy, you are always smiling’.

(Image: PA)

I had to give those smiles and bring that happiness to us. That was really a sweet message that the boys were giving to me when I didn’t have a good day or they knew I wasn’t in a good place. Now I am back on the field and they are so happy to see me back and say welcome back. The boys are really sweet and are part of my family, 100 per cent.

How has Jefte been settling in?

It has been so far really good. He is from the different side of Sao Paulo. It is funny that we both speak a little bit different but we both understand each other. It has been nice. I have to help him quite a lot as well. That is something for my part to be responsible for that to help him to feel as comfortable as much as possible and be part of this really nice group. I think later he is going to get used to the English. He is a really nice boy and I think he is going to contribute a lot of for us and help a lot as well.

Are you looking forward to going back to Holland?

I think it will be great to be honest. I will be nice to travel with the boys again and have those experiences of travelling and staying with the boys in the hotel. Also doing hard training. I think it is going to be a good week. And also to be back in Holland, it is kind of like my home because I lived for so long over there.