MATTY TODD has admitted his lengthy injury absence was a "really difficult" and "lonely" period but is now ready to help his Pars pals for the remainder of the season.

The 22-year-old made his long-awaited comeback on Friday night during the televised clash at home to Dundee United, appearing from the bench 10 minutes into the second half.

Although he couldn't prevent Dunfermline slipping to a 2-1 defeat, Todd's appearance - and that of team-mate, Kane Ritchie-Hosler - provided cheer for his manager, team-mates and supporters.

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Midfielder and boyhood Athletic fan Todd, who signed a new contract in March, picked up an ankle injury in Dunfermline's second competitive game of this term, against Annan Athletic in the Viaplay Cup, which saw him need surgery and sidelined him until the visit of the Tangerines.

That surgery came after Todd missed the final three games of last season after having his appendix removed, and then surgery during the summer to fix an issue he had with his nose.

"My appendix happened the day after we won the league, and I always scheduled to get my nose done in the off season," Todd said.

"That had to be pushed back and then, once the ankle happened at the start of the season, it looked like I was never going to catch a break.

"I'm glad it's over because it was a really difficult period, and one that can be lonely at times in that gym. It's really tough watching the boys train out on that pitch. You just want to go and help them.

"However, I'm back now, I'm back fit, and I'm looking forward to just helping push the team on again.

"On a personal note, I'm buzzing to be back. It's been a tough 15 weeks out with injury, but I'd just like to thank everybody that's been involved with me; the surgeon, the physio, the sports scientist, and even the manager. They've all been brilliant with me.

"It was a tough period out, but I was glad to be back out there."

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Todd said his ankle felt good after his appearance against United, and said it "probably is better than what it was before" after the operation, which saw the ligament pinned back to the bone.

When asked if he might need to time to get back to full match sharpness, he replied: "To be fair, the manager said it in his pre-match during the week that I'm probably one of the fitter boys in the squad. Not to hype myself up, I probably am.

"I just keep myself fit and healthy, and that's probably what's helped me, playing 30 minutes or so."

A firm favourite with the Pars supporters, Todd's name was being chanted as he warmed up before he came on, and he was full of praise for the backing from the stands.

"They've been brilliant," he said. "You saw that a lot last year when we were winning games, week in, week out, and even this year they've backed us everywhere we've gone.

"They come in their numbers, they sing whenever the game's on. They've been absolutely brilliant."