LEE Minshull hopes he can put his injury hell behind him and help Concord Rangers bounce back to form.

The defender, who was appointed Danny Scopes’ player-assistant manager following the climax of last term, went under the knife during the summer in an attempt to rectify a long-term foot problem.

And, having made a full recovery, Minshull was pleased to make his first start of the campaign in the narrow 2-1 National League South defeat at Havant & Waterlooville.

Minshull said: “It was great to be back on the pitch and it was my first start in five or six months.

“I missed not playing but it helped when we were doing so well at the start of the season.

“That made it quite easy being on the sidelines but then I wanted to be out there when our form turned.

“It has been harder for me on the touchline since then but my time out injured has made me realise how much I miss playing.

“Being injured gave me a chance to look at the other side of the game and adjust to my new role as player-assistant manager, but I’m raring to go again.”

Scopes took over as the Beach Boys’ boss in the summer and immediately appointed Minshull as his right-hand man.

Although Minshull is enjoying his new role on the coaching staff, the former AFC Wimbledon and Newport County defender believes he still has plenty to offer on the pitch.

Minshull added: “Everyone told me ‘you are retired for a long time, so make the most of your playing career’.

“It would be a shame to give up before your time comes and I will hang my boots up when I know I am not physically able to perform to the best of my ability.

“But I still feel as though I have plenty to offer and I want to carry on playing for as long as I can.”

And Minshull, who impressed following his move from Leatherhead last year, was pleased to overcome a setback on the road to recovery.

The 33-year-old admitted: “I had the operation in the summer because I have had problems ever since I fractured my toe when I was 24.

“Since then, I had been able to play through any pain and surgery was always the last resort for me.

“After the operation, I started running again and it took me a while to get the footwear right.

“That resulted in my tweaking my hamstring and that was a setback but, luckily, that was managed quite well by the physio and I wasn’t kept out for much longer.”