SOUTHEND United midfielder Anthony Wordsworth is pushing to be fit for the start of pre-season training.
The 28-year-old has undergone surgery to cure the hamstring injury he sustained towards the end of last season.
But, with his rehabilitation work set to continue throughout the summer, Wordsworth hopes to be able to feature during pre-season.
“I feel as though I’m making good progress at the moment and I hope to be able to join in with the running when all the lads come back in for the start of pre-season training in July,” said Wordsworth.
“I’m coming in to work with Benji (physiotherapist Ben Clarkson) and we’re doing everything we can to get me back fit.
“The surgeon who did the operation said I was likely to be out for 12 weeks but I want to be back running before then and that’s my aim.”
Wordsworth missed the first 10 games of last season after undergoing surgery on his opposite hamstring last summer.
But he is confident of avoiding a repeat this time around.
“I’ve had the operation a lot sooner this time and I’ll be better for having it too,” said the midfielder, who scored 12 goals in 36 starts last term.
“During the operation they also discovered tendinitis on my hamstring so it’s good to have got it sorted and that it will be much stronger next season.
“It was obviously horrible to have to miss the last two games of the season, especially when there was so much riding on them.
“But, while there’s never a good time to be injured, at least I’m not missing matches at the moment.”
Wordsworth will continue to wear a leg brace for the next three weeks after originally suffering the injury during an additional training session.
“I had stayed behind after training to do a bit extra on the Thursday before the Shrewsbury game and I just felt something pop,” recalled Wordsworth.
“It had nothing to do with the injury I suffered against Chesterfield because that was on the other leg.
“But things are progressing now and I’m looking forward to getting back out there next season.”
Wordsworth will again be a key figure for the Shrimpers next term.
And he is keen to help Phil Brown’s side push for promotion.
“It was obviously frustrating to miss out on the top six last season and we’ll be looking to do better next year,” said the midfielder.
“It’s important to rest up and recharge the batteries but I’m sure everyone will be doing bits during the summer and be ready to go again from the start of pre-season.
“We’re all looking forward to it and we want to make sure it’s a good season with us on form right from the very start.”
>Fixtures for the 2017/18 season will be released on Wednesday June 21 with the first game being played on Saturday August 5.