COLWYN Bay striker Damian Ketley is targeting a pre-season return following successful knee surgery.

The physical forward came through a procedure to repair damage suffered earlier on this season, with the Seagulls’ board contributing for Ketley to go private in the hopes of getting back sooner than anticipated.

The 26-year-old, who has turned out for Holyhead Hotspur, Holywell Town and Prestatyn Town during a standout career to date, is keen to repay the faith shown in him by the club and is aiming for a summer return to training.

He said: "I can't thank the club enough for what they have done for me. I came in the other week and shook all the directors by the hand to thank them personally.

“They have been exceptional and I can't wait for next season so I can repay them on the pitch.

"I hope to be able to start doing some jogging for the first time the other side Easter and once I start doing that I will be working hard throughout the summer to make sure I'm ahead of everyone else in terms of fitness when pre-season starts.”

Ketley also spoke about the troubled times he has endured after damage proved worse than first feared, with the striker suffering the injury after a freak fall against Porthmadog.

The player is “not too far away” from resuming light jogging, but faces plenty of hard work ahead if he is to make a return to full fitness.

"It is six weeks since I had the surgery and initially there were complications and I was off work for three weeks when the knee totally seized up,” added Ketley.

"Some days are good and I feel I'm making progress and others are bad and I wonder how long is this all going to take.

"I've been injured before when I had a broken rib and punctured lung, but that was nothing compared to this.

"After the surgery the consultant said it would take ten weeks for things to settle down enough for me to start jogging again and I'm not too far away from that.

"Hopefully the worst is behind me and I can look forward to pre-season and playing again. I can't wait."