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Charlton striker Igor Vetokele pleased to be back in the thick of it after long injury lay-off

Charlton forward Igor Vetokele was pleased to be back involved with the first-team after a lengthy injury lay-off.

The Angolan frontman dislocated his shoulder during the 2-0 away win at Walsall in early November, but returned to the matchday squad for Saturday’s trip to Fleetwood Town. In a weird quirk of fate, midfielder Josh Cullen suffered the same injury in the same game, only returning to action himself a fortnight ago.

Vetokele, 26, came off the bench during the 1-0 defeat on the Fylde Coast and was thrilled to be able to play again.

“It felt good to be back on the pitch,” explained the former F.C. Copenhagen man, who signed for the Addicks in the summer of 2014.

“I’ve been out for eleven weeks. I’m doing my best to get back now as fast as possible.

“We’re all a bit p****d that we lost the game. We’re going to work hard and hopefully next week we can win again.

“They told me it was going to take twelve or thirteen weeks but I’m back after eleven weeks. On Tuesday I played an u23 game. I’m good with the way the injury went.

Charlton’s Igor Vetokele applauds the fans after the loss at Fleetwood Town. Photo: Kyle Andrews

“I had a different operation to Josh so mine took a little bit longer. It was frustrating in the beginning. The first five weeks I could barely do anything. You feel useless. That’s why I’m glad to be back now.

“It’s a good step to get some minutes under the belt I’m going to keep working to get that fitness and that sharpness back so I can try and help the team.

“I’ll do my best. That’s what I’m here for. It’s unfortunate that Karlan left us. Josh came in also. We’re going to compete again for the positions.

“I’m going to do my best to get back to my old form and give them (the fans) something back. There’s still fifteen games left. It’s all about getting as many points as possible and we’ll see at the end of the season.”

Vetokele’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season. He will be one of the highest earners at the club as he signed a four-year deal when Charlton were still in the Championship.

He admits that if it is possible, he’d be open to staying at The Valley beyond the 2018/19 campaign.

“I’m open for anything,” he said.

“I won’t lie, my family are enjoying London and I am too. We’ll see how it will be. If it was possible, then yes. We can always discuss it.”

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