Danny Drinkwater has told of his "massive" frustration at the long injury-induced wait to make his Chelsea bow.
The England international belatedly turned out for the Premier League champions against Everton in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, having seen his Stamford Bridge debut delayed by a calf problem since signing from Leicester City on the final day of the transfer window.
But Drinkwater is glad that his first game is now out of the way as he looks to kick on for Antonio Conte's side.
"I don't think [the last few months] could have gone any worse," the midfielder told Chelsea TV.
"I have been trying to take the positives out of it. My calf feels good now but I was massively frustrated. The waiting game was killing me.
"It's been good to watch the team and it has helped me to settle in as well. It has given me a feel for how they actually play. But the sooner I can get more involved now, the better for me."
Manager Conte said of Drinkwater's performance: "I think he has a lot of room for improvement. I preferred to give him the opportunity to play from the start because he needs to play, to find the right tempo and rhythm of the game.
"I knew I could risk something by playing him, but I think it was very positive for him to start the game and to know that now I can count on him for part of the next games.
"Maybe he will be 100 per cent fit after the international break, but we must have patience. We are also recovering N'Golo [Kante] very well and this is good news for our midfield."
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