JON NEWBY aims to be back in action this month and is keen to prove he can be a major player in Town's play-off push.
The 25-year-old summer signing from Bury has been sidelined since having knee surgery at the beginning of November.
Newby is now close to regaining enough strength and fitness to make a comeback, however, and he is simply itching to play again.
"It's a case of `so far so good' with my recovery and I should be ready to return to training in the next couple of weeks," said Newby, who scored 12 goals in helping the Gigg Lane club make the play-offs last season.
"My target at the moment is to play a Reserve game in the next three weeks or so, and that will mean I've hit the schedule I was set by the surgeon.
"He said it would take me three months to get back if there were no problems, and that will be spot on if I can play by the end of this month."
Newby's left knee was troubling him for a few weeks before he went under the knife, and his last appearance in the Third Division line-up was as a substitute in the 3-0 McAlpine win against Leyton Orient on September 27.
He had made nine League and Cup starts before that but had failed to register a goal in Town colours.
Should all go well, the former Liverpool player could be in line to play at least part of the Reserves' match at Bradford City on Tuesday, January 13 (7pm).
If not, there is another Pontin's Holidays Premier Division fixture at Hull City on Wednesday, January 28 (7pm).
"I just want to get playing again, get some games under my belt and take it from there," he added.