Reading FC midfielder Felipe Araruna couldn't hide his delight after he finally made his long-awaited return in the Royals' 2-2 draw with Derby County following 464 days out of action.

After requiring surgery to repair a seriously injured knee, multiple setbacks have cost Araruna even more time than initially anticipated.

But after starting on the bench on Monday, the Brazilian ended his injury nightmare when he replaced Tyrell Ashcroft at half time - the 17-year old substituted due to a head injury.

Araruna managed the entire second half at right back, but was powerless to stop Derby's late recovery as the Rams snatched a point with goals in the 86th and 91st minutes.

Still, despite the disappointment of the final result, it was a distinct highlight for a player who has seen his Reading career stalled by injury.

Reading Chronicle: The Reading players dejectedly walk off the pitch after Derby score twice late. Image by: JasonPIXThe Reading players dejectedly walk off the pitch after Derby score twice late. Image by: JasonPIX

"It was great," Araruna told the club's official channels. "It’s been tough to be out of the squad, to see my teammates play when I can’t help them. Now I’m really happy, I’m here to help the team and looking to hopefully get three points in the next game.

“It’s not that easy to come on at half-time, but I was ready and building my fitness more during the week, I was feeling good and confident, my teammates gave me confidence during this time and I’m feeling really good.

“The fans always make the difference, it’s an extra push so it was nice to see them, and I hope we can see them many times again here.

“With the first-half, we started well, then in the second-half, to get the second goal, it’s tough not to win, but we’ll work hard in the week to correct what we did wrong. We have a good team and good staff; we just need to focus on getting points in the next games.

“Hopefully, fingers crossed, I don’t know what the manager is thinking but I hope so, I’m ready to play and I want to get more minutes, help the team and help this club.”

Reports in Brazil have linked Araruna with a move away from Berkshire this month but with Andy Yiadom off to the African Cup of Nations and Tyrell Ashcroft forced off on Monday, perhaps there is a renewed opportunity for a player who has shown his ability to deputise at full-back as well as play his more natural defensive midfield role.