ASHINGTON striker Phill Bell is well on the road to recovery after suffering the worst injury of his footballing career late last season.
And at the weekend he said he would be disappointed if he is not fit for the start of the season.
The 28-year-old lecturer missed the final two months of the 2011-12 campaign after suffering what was thought to be a dead leg against Jarrow Roofing at the Boldon Sports Ground in early March.
But after getting the injury checked out, and although x-rays revealed no breaks, he was informed he had a condition called ‘compartment syndrome’, where the pressure increases and the wound is still bleeding.
Bell, pictured, had to undergo an emergency operation at the RVI in Newcastle where experts also discovered that he was haemophiliac.
“For the first two months after the injury I was pretty much incapacitated and not able to move at all, then the last two months I’ve been building things up,” he said.
“I started jogging then building up strength, moving onto straight line work of running a bit faster and also cycling.
“Over the last two to three weeks I have commenced work with the football and had my first full training session last Thursday and felt good.
“I’m hoping to get a couple of pre-season games towards the end of the warm-up programme just depending on how my leg reacts.
“I think I will be fit for the start and will be disappointed if I’m not because I believe I’m about a week to a week and a half away from being 100 per cent.”
Bell had hoped to gain extra fitness by playing cricket for South Northumberland, but he said: “I’ve been available for matches – but because of the weather there has been very little cricket played.
“I’ve had the odd game here and there, but it’s been so sporadic that it’s been a bit of a write off.”
Looking ahead, he added: “I’ve had lots of smaller injuries in past seasons but this one is the worst of my career.
“I reckon it’s inevitable that I’m still going to get knocks – but at least I now know what to do being haemophiliac.
“I can control things by injecting a clotting factor to stop the bleeding similar to a diabetic having to inject insulin.”