Gerard Deulofeu has moved a step closer to returning to Watford following his injury sustained in the 3-0 home win over Liverpool.

The Barcelona academy graduate said he is no longer on crutches, or in any pain, after undergoing surgery earlier this year.

In an interview for the club website, he said: “My first six weeks after the surgery weren’t the best because every day I had to go with the crutches, but finally I’ve left the crutches and now I’m much better and can do much more exercise.

“I’m feeling more like a person, and the most important thing is I don’t feel pain in the knee, because normally you can feel some pain around the knee but at the moment the recovery is perfect so we’re going to continue.

“Every day I’m working, doing a lot of kilometres. At the moment we are protecting a little bit the meniscus until we can run. Soon we are going to run but at the moment we are doing this exercise.

“Mentally my character is really positive now. I’m a different person than in other years and I’ve changed my mind and I’m always positive. We can’t live in our past, we have to look at our present and work for the future."

While his team-mates are preparing to return next month, that looks as if it will come too soon for Deulofeu, but he has backed record signing Ismaila Sarr to step up to the plate in his absence.

“It’s really tough because I know my teammates are going to miss me because I’m doing really good things for the team,” he said.

“But there are more players who are going to take this opportunity. We have great players who are going to help the team and we’re going to achieve our objectives to remain [in the league] of course.

“He’s [Sarr] a really good player, really young, his pace is amazing and it helps the team a lot because when we do the counter-attacks from both sides – from my side and Ismaïla’s – the team can go up [the pitch] and it helps the team a lot.

“He gets good assists, good goals. In the present and in the future, he’s going to be a really good player for Watford so we’re really happy to have him in the team.”