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Teenage striker Jay Stansfield is itching to return to action after three months on the sidelines recovering from ankle surgery.

The young forward, who made such an impression during his first season with the Whites after moving to London from boyhood club Exeter City, has endured a long wait to build on his strong start after picking up the first serious injury of his career during an innocuous incident at Motspur Park.

I went to block the ball in a training session but got my foot caught in the ground. All of the force travelled through my ankle and I suffered a hairline fracture/break on the outside of my ankle bone. I also ruptured my ligament which is why I needed surgery. The surgery went well, the surgeon was happy with it all and it’s recovered from then on, so I’m nearly back playing.

It’s been a long 12 weeks, don’t get me wrong. It’s hard coming back to the training ground and watching all the other lads play, while you’re stuck in the gym wanting to get out there and train. I’ve trained fully this week and hopefully after one more week, I’ll be back; maybe with the Under-18s for the West Ham game.

The 18 year-old, who scored a remarkable 22 goals for the under 18s last year and made his professional debut for the first team, has done his best to remain upbeat during his enforced time off. He has looked to add strength to his already eye-catching all-round game.

There were areas in my game that I needed to work on, not on the pitch but in the gym. I’ve been focused on getting more powerful and stronger and over the 12 weeks I’ve been able to build on that and set myself a plan for the rest of the season. Working on my power and speed should add a bit more to my game. I’m putting in those extra hours in the gym in order to improve as a player and get used to that first team environment.

Looking forward, I need to end the season strong, look to get back to full fitness and make an impact, whether it be with the 18s or 23s.