Mansfield Town defender David Mirfin is nearing a return to football after a ‘frustrating’ year out with a knee injury.
The 33-year-old has endured a long spell on the sidelines but is keen to get back into competitive action for the Stags.
He has been training with the club’s reserve team and has his sights set on making a return in an upcoming reserve team fixture.
The ex-Huddersfield and Scunthorpe man said: “It [year without football] has been very frustrating. You realise how much you love playing.
“When you’re watching the games, you want to be out there. It’s been a really tough year, but I’ve had so much support from family and friends, and the club have been brilliant.
“I’ve had another good session [Thursday] with the under-21s and a few of the pros who didn’t play the other day. It’s good to get more miles into my legs.
“I’ve been back for probably about five weeks now, I’m just building to hopefully 45 minutes in a reserve game.
“With the Christmas period, when the first lads haven’t been in, it’s been good to build up my fitness with the under-21s.
“In a normal week, I’ve been with the first team, but when there have been games I’ve been with the under-21s to keep that fitness up.”
And added: “I think a lot of it [return to first team] will depend on how I feel after that first 45 minutes in the reserve game. It’s just a case now of timing the game right with my training.”