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Rushian Hepburn-Murphy couldn't wait to get back on the pitch after being out for over a year

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was happy to be back playing following being out for over a year with injuries. Total Sport’s Joe Acklam spoke to the goal scorer after Swindon’s 3-1 EFL Trophy defeat to Plymouth.

Hepburn-Murphy came off the bench for half an hour and showed his quality, scoring a late consolation after Swindon were already 3-0 down.

The 24-year-old said after the game that he felt good on his first time back out on the pitch following his long-term injury.

He said: “I can’t even put it into words how good that felt, I think it has been 488 days and counting so I couldn’t wait to get out there and I enjoyed my time back out on the pitch.

“I had two hip operations, one last September and one May this year and in rehab I had to just focus on gym work and trying to get my leg strength back up.

“It felt really good to be back out there, I felt great for the first 20 minutes and then in the last ten I was gassed but that will come in the coming weeks.

“Before I came on it sat on my mind about reinjuring myself, but when I was on the pitch I completely forgot about it and I felt brand new.

“I don’t want to rush getting into full action as it is a gradual process and I don’t want to rush back and break down again.

“But the medical team here have been unbelievable and I can’t thank them enough, Joe, Ricky, and George, the whole lot of them have been unbelievable in helping me get my strength back up and I just want to thank them all because they were brilliant.”

Hepburn-Murphy did get on the scoresheet in second-half stoppage time but he could have scored with his first touch and admitted it did take some time to feel familiar in those situations.

He said: “The gaffer just said to me when I came on to ‘just go out there and enjoy it as it has been a while since you have been on the pitch’ and I felt like I did that.

“I could have scored with my first two touches, but I kind of rushed it as I haven’t been in that position for a long time and I panicked and tried to get my shot off as quick as possible.

“I didn’t realise I had so much time, but I am just getting used to being in that position and it should become second nature to me soon.

“I can’t even fathom how good it felt to score, after having the chance earlier on and fluffing it, I thought I wasn’t going to get another chance.

“But I kept going and what striker wouldn’t want a goal like that, gifted to them? I will take them.”

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