Zak Vyner says his relationship with Aberdeen team-mates Greg Leigh and Jon Gallagher got him through while he was out with a shoulder injury.
The 22-year-old Bristol City loanee, who has played centre-back, right-back and centre midfield for the Dons this term, was hurt in training.
As a result, he missed most of November, playing in the 3-0 win over Kilmarnock at the start of the month and only returning for the 2-1 victory over St Mirren on November 30.
The versatile Englishman has played in the two Premiership matches since then – Wednesday’s battling 2-2 draw with Rangers at Pittodrie and Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Easter Road.
On the injury, Vyner said: “I’m still enjoying myself (at Aberdeen).
“I’ve come back in after three weeks out with a bit of a shoulder problem.
“In training I tore a ligament in my shoulder. I’d gone to shield a ball and somebody came running behind me into my shoulder, which flipped the wrong way I guess.
“There was a bit of confusion as to whether it came out (of the socket) and went back in.
“Obviously I’m up here on my own, so it was lucky I wasn’t out that long and didn’t feel I lost too much fitness, which was good.
“I’m glad to be back and just want to keep going.”
Vyner’s housing situation, close to Atlanta United loanee Gallagher and NAC Breda loanee Leigh – another defensive signing who has played in centre midfield as Aberdeen have battled an injury crisis – helped him get through his time on the sidelines.
Vyner, who admits the trio are low key in their activities, said: “To be honest, I don’t do much. I spend a lot of time with Greg (Leigh) and Gall (Jon Gallagher).
“Gall’s literally moved into our apartment block last week.
“I live above Greg and Gall’s next door, so we can go and chill.
“We don’t do much – get food, play PS4, play Call of Duty, that’s about it.”
Vyner is with Aberdeen until the end of the season and boss Derek McInnes has spoken about his belief in his midfield abilities.
The last two games have been challenging, with duels against Rangers internationals Ryan Jack and Steven Davis, and the likes of Stevie Mallan and Scott Allan of Hibs.
However, Vyner, who played in defence for relegated Rotherham United in the English Championship last term, is focused on continuing to develop his game – the reason he came to Pittodrie.
Vyner faces a parting of the ways with friends Leigh and Gallagher at the end of the campaign, with his compatriot Leigh expected to stay on permanently and Irishman Gallagher heading back to America.
Vyner said: “I don’t know what’s going to happen (in the future). I’m signed for the season and my intention is always to see out the season.
“With the lads I don’t know what their situation is, we don’t talk about it that much and just try to enjoy the present.
“There’s great development I can get here, before going back to Bristol.
“I just need to take in everything I can.”