SOUTHEND United defender Harry Kyprianou will not be rushing his return from injury – after admitting he made that mistake last season.

The 20-year-old has been out of action since the start of October after suffering a thigh problem in Blues’ 4-1 defeat at Doncaster Rovers.

But, despite revealing he was currently ahead of schedule, Kyprianou will not come back until he is fully ready to regain his place in the Shrimpers’ starting line-up.

“Last year I rushed back from injury when I had a groin problem and that worked against me long term so I won’t be doing that again, “ said Kyprianou.

“I’m just focusing on the rehabilitation process to make sure I can come back fully fit and ready to stake my claim again.

“I’m ahead of schedule in terms of the rehab but I’m hesitant to put a timescale on it at the moment.”

However, Kyprianou - who joined Blues from Watford in 2015 - has responded well to treatment.

And he is happy to have stepped up his return.

“The injury is coming along quite nicely at the moment,” said Kyprianou.

“I’m back running ahead of schedule which is a real positive for me.

“I’m also getting lots of strengthening work done which isn’t always possible when in the team playing games so I’m viewing that positively too.”

But Kyprianou remains frustrated to have been forced to the sidelines in the first place.

The defender had started seven successive matches at the heart of the Blues back four before suffering the injury early on at the Keepmoat Stadium.

However, Kyprianou is determined to bounce back from the disappointment.

“To be honest it was extremely frustrating to pick up the injury,” said Kyprianou.

“The team had won the previous four games, including two clean sheets, so we were doing really well and looking up the table.

“Also from a personal point of view I was enjoying my football and was proud to be voted player of the month by the fans, especially as the team was winning.

“Unfortunately injuries are part of football and now I’m just focused on making a full recovery.”