SOUTHEND United defender Harry Kyprianou is determined to end his toughest year yet on a high.

The 22-year-old defender has been out for 12 months with the Achilles injury he suffered at AFC Wimbledon last November.

But Kyprianou has stepped up his comeback and hopes to be back training before the end of December.

“I’m back outside running again now, I’m working with the footballs too and hopefully I’m not too far off returning to full training now,” said Kyprianou.

“It’s been a really tough time for me and certainly the toughest one I’ve had since becoming a professional.

“It’s difficult and at times you do start to wonder if you can get back to where you were before or if you will come back at all.

“But I’m feeling good again now and although I’m always reluctant to set a timescale on these things it would be great if I could be back training before the end of the year.”

Kyprianou had been hoping to make a return earlier in the season. But a slight setback meant he had to delay his comeback.

“I had a setback a little while back now and it probably put me back about 10 weeks,” said Kyprianou.

“It’s tough to take because you’re on the way back from the original injury and then you’re suddenly going to be out for even longer.

“But since I’ve got over that it’s all been positive and this time I’m feeling much better.

“We’re working really hard and the important thing is to make sure that when I do come back I’m fully ready for it and can hit the ground running."

Kyprianou, who can play at left-back or centre-back, has made 25 appearances for Blues since signing in 2015. But he has found sitting out the season so far incredibly frustrating.

“Obviously the results haven’t been what everyone wants and that makes it even harder because you want to be out there helping any way you can,” said Kyprianou.

“Being injured and the team not doing as well as we want is so frustrating but hopefully I’ll be able to help during the second half of the season.”

And Kyprianou cannot wait to be back in action.

“I’m so determined to get back and I know I will do now too,” said Kyprianou.

“I’m working really hard and I can’t wait to be out there training again and then playing as well.

“It’s been difficult but fingers crossed I won’t be out for much longer now.”