JORDAN Thorniley has opened up on a tough fortnight battling Covid.

The Oxford United centre back is expected to start at MK Dons today (3pm) after returning to the side at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday.

Thorniley played 90 minutes at the Keepmoat Stadium, in his first appearance since testing positive for the virus hours before the U’s were due to play Wigan Athletic on November 20.

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He returned to training last week, but was not ready to be anything more than an unused substitute at Sunderland seven days ago.

The 25-year-old said: “I’m alright now, it took it out of me to be fair.

“The Sunderland game came far too early, I was still coughing in training.

“I’m still shaking off the chesty stuff, when I was younger I used to suffer with chest infections so I knew it would get me.”

Thorniley was one of seven U’s players to test positive on the morning of the Wigan game, which was postponed less than four hours before kick-off.

He said: “We tested Monday and Thursday and were all negative.

“On Friday, I felt fine and in the afternoon I started to feel a bit cold.

“I didn’t think anything of it, but I asked for a test anyway just to make sure.

“It came back negative, then in the night I got worse and in the morning I was positive.

“It shows how quickly things can change with Covid.

“Everyone’s sick of it, but you’ve still got to stay on top of the hygiene and try to avoid it as best as possible.”

Before catching the virus, Thorniley helped kick-start an unbeaten run that continued even when United had 11 first-team players absent through illness or injury.

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The U’s have not lost in eight Sky Bet League One matches and sit sixth, with today’s opponents a point and a place behind.

But Blackpool loanee Thorniley, who helped the Tangerines gain promotion last season after an excellent second half of the campaign, is not concerned about the table right now.

He said: “If you can’t win, then you draw and you back it up with a win the week after.

“Ultimately you’ll end up where you want to go.

“The position at this stage doesn’t mean anything, it’s the points you’re on and how close you are to the other teams.

“It’s a long season, teams can get injuries, they can lose form.

“You saw last season, both Oxford and Blackpool were consistent and they got up there as other teams were struggling.

“It’s about staying on people’s tails, making sure everyone’s fit.

“You’ve seen the squad depth we’ve got, a lot of players were out injured and they got two good results.”