Callum Kearns is relishing the opportunity of putting on a Bury Town shirt again after announcing a second playing comeback this week.
Two serious injuries to his left knee threatened to wreck his career, but the midfielder is ready to put his torment finally behind him.
Kearns has not kicked a ball in anger for more than two years after rupturing his cruciate ligament for a second time back in August 2012.
That setback came less than two years after suffering the same injury during an FA Cup replay against Staines Town, back in October 2010.
The former Southend trainee said: “If I had any doubt that I couldn’t play again, then I wouldn’t even be contemplating it.
“I want to get back playing and it isn’t something I’m doing half-heartedly. I haven’t set myself any targets and haven’t made any promises as such.
“I’ve been through a lot in the last few years but it has been on my mind to give it one more go. I’ve been in and out of training for more than a year now and working hard in the gym. I’ve had to make sure that I am right both mentally and physically.
“I can’t wait to get back started again. I have a massive challenge ahead of me and I know it isn’t going to be easy.”
Kearns’ last comeback lasted 17 games — nine from the bench — towards the end of the 2011/12 campaign.
On the return of the 26-year-old playmaker, Ram Meadow boss Ben Chenery said: “We’ve got to nurse Callum along in the right way.
“He’s had a long time out of football, but he is very keen and hungry to get back.
“It has been very hard for him both physically and mentally but a fully-fit Callum Kearns would be a massive asset to Bury Town.”
Meanwhile, Chenery hopes to make two more marquee signings in the next couple of days, with a centre-forward at the top of his wanted list.
n Needham Market boss Mark Morsley, who may add one more player to his squad, has declared himself happy going into pre-season.
Morsley, who has already snapped up the services of Colchester legend Karl Duguid and Bury’s Jordan Patrick over the summer, said: “I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve got.
“I may sign another striker, but I will only bring somebody in if they are better than what we’ve already got at the club.”