SWINDON Town club captain Dion Conroy says he misses football so much and has targeted a December return to playing competitively.

Conroy had returned from his second significant knee injury over the summer before a problem in his heel – picked up during a friendly away at Bristol City – caused a further set back to his return date.

But after undergoing a successful minor operation to remove the problematic tendon, the 24-year-old is hopeful he can feature in Town’s starting XI before he turns 25 on December 11.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wiltshire on Tuesday night, Conroy explained the issues behind his absence from the team.

He said: “The operation I had was nothing major at all.

“I was back training with the team and I played against Bristol City in that friendly, and I was very close to being able to play a full game and get involved in the league games.

“It was 330 days between that friendly against Bristol City and the last game I played.

“The feeling of just being out there and playing football, it was the best feeling ever.

“But I just had a problem with a tendon that runs parallel to my Achilles.

“Basically, I was told you don’t even need it in your body, so it’s a pretty irrelevant tendon and they took it out.

“It’s a matter of weeks, so hopefully I’ll be back pretty soon.

“I’m hoping to play my first game before December.

“I need to get my fitness back first, but hopefully I’ll be training soon and then it will be a case of whether the manager wants to put me in.”

Conroy discussed topics such as Project Big Picture, Town’s start to the season and his decision to swap numbers for the new season.

After ditching 25 initially – following the first knee injury – Conroy then selected 26 in the search for a bit more luck.

However, when his second significant injury occurred against Newport County last season, the Redhill-born defender decided he would try a completely new number once again – one that did not feature the number two, five or six.

He said: “When four became available, it was Danny Rose’s old number and he told me to take it.

“It was nothing major, but hopefully this number has better luck to it this year.

“I’m unfortunately pretty used to having these long-term injuries and being told to take my time with it, but this is not like the last two I’ve had – it’s pretty minor.

“But I honestly can’t wait to play football because I miss it so much.”