The Blues signed Drinkwater from Leicester City on deadline day for a fee of £35million but the England international had to wait almost two months before making an appearance.
The 27-year-old, who won the Premier League during his five-year spell at the King Power Stadium, suffered a serious calf injury in training after joining Chelsea.
Danny Drinkwater admits frustrating start to Chelsea career was ‘killing him’
But Danny Drinkwater now hopes to put the difficult period behind him and begin to make a major influence at his new home in west London.
‘I don’t think [the last few months] could have gone any worse,’ Drinkwater told Chelsea TV after starting the Carabao Cup victory over Everton on Wednesday evening.
‘I have been trying to take the positives out of it. My calf feels good now but I was massively frustrated. The waiting game was killing me.
‘It’s been good to watch the team and it has helped me to settle in as well. It has given me a feel for how they actually play. But the sooner I can get more involved now, the better for me.’
Drinkwater’s injury has also been a major frustration for Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who has been without a number of major players in recent weeks.
Bournemouth (A) – Sat 28 Oct
Roma – (A) – Tue 31 Oct (Champions League)
Manchester United (H) – Sun 5 Nov
West Brom (A) – Sat 18 Nov
FK Qarabag (A) – Wed Nov 22 (Champions League)
Liverpool (A) – Sat Nov 25
The former Italy boss admits he was taking a risk by starting Drinkwater but was content with his display as Chelsea progressed to the last-eight of the competition.
‘I think he has a lot of room for improvement,’ Conte said of his £35m summer signing. ‘I preferred to give him the opportunity to play from the start because he needs to play, to find the right tempo and rhythm of the game.