AFC Fylde captain Josh Langley is in a buoyant mood as his recovery from injury continues.
The Coasters defender tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament earlier in the season against Maidenhead United and underwent surgery on his knee to fix the problem.
However, Langley insists that he is now well ahead of schedule and was given a huge boost this week as his rehabilitation gathers pace.
Langley said: “The recovery is going very well. I went to see the surgeon this week and he is delighted with how it’s going and how I am progressing.
“He has given me the all clear to get back out on the grass and do some ball work so that’s a big positive for me mentally.
“To get back out on the grass after being in the gym every day is massive for me and I’m really looking forward to it.
“Up to now I have just been doing gym, strength and arm work and working on my body in general. It’s boring and a little tedious but it has to be done. I have been doing three sessions almost every day and it has been tough mentally.
“I am building my strength and if I keep going this way it will be a big boost for me when I’m back because I will be a lot stronger than I was before.
“I’m not sure when I will be back to full fitness yet. I’m just taking it week by week because it’s hard to judge. I will be doing everything I can to get back this season but I’m not sure yet.
“I’m ahead of where I should be at this stage and that is no small part down to the people who have helped out. My family and friends and our medical team, Sean and Danielle, have been fantastic. Also a big thanks to Tom McCready who was my personal chauffeur when I couldn’t drive!”
Whilst most associated with the club relished the recent FA Cup tie against Wigan Athletic, Langley admits it was the toughest moment of his career.
The 25-year-old started his career with the Latics – where dad Kevin holds the record for most Football League appearances – before joining Fylde in 2014.
Langley added: “I was in the car listening to the draw and when Fylde came out I was saying to myself ‘anyone but Wigan, anyone but Wigan!’
“It took a little while to sink in but I got 60-odd text messages and phone calls and it hit me.
“I’m not going to lie, it was horrible and it was probably to toughest moment of my career, knowing that I was going to miss that game.
“The lads did very well against a top side. They are top of their league and we more than matched them. I thought we were unlucky not to get through in the end but it was a great experience for the lads and I’m sure they all really enjoyed it.”
The Coasters suffered a second cup exit last weekend, falling at the first hurdle in the FA Trophy against Chester and Langley admits he was frustrated with the defeat.
“It was disappointing for me because I don’t like going out of any competition, especially when there is a chance of Wembley at the end of it.
“I think there was a realistic chance of reaching the final because we are a very good side at this level.
“Last year there were teams above us that were better than us, but this time around was different because we can beat anyone on our day.
“We just have to focus on the league now, that’s the main priority. Up to now we have done very well and if we can win our games in hand then it pushes us right up there. We could go from a good position to a fantastic position.”