SWINDON Town manager David Flitcroft says Dion Conroy is recovering well after being ruled out for the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury in September.

The 21-year-old joined the club from Chelsea in January this year and had made eight appearances for Flitcroft before his season was brought to an end.

After picking up the injury, Flitcroft was forced to dip into the transfer market for a replacement, before eventually signing Matt Preston on a short-term deal.

Two months and an operation later, Flitcroft says the club have come up with a plan to help the central defender in his bid to return to fitness.

Flitcroft says Conroy has been progressing well and admitted it is difficult for the youngster to be around the squad while being sidelined.

“We met up with Dion the week before (last) and he is going to do some of his rehabilitation away from the club, closer to home because of the driving situation,” he said.

“It’s part of the mental stimulation because the hardest part of that injury is the mental side of it because it is difficult. You come in, the team are winning, you see a vibrant dressing room and you’re still six or seven months off of that.

“I’ve been there before myself and it can hurt your soul.” With more than seven months of recovery remaining, Flitcroft has put his trust in Chris Neville to nurse the former Chelsea man back to health.

Not only does Flitcroft want Conroy to return in good physical condition, he wants the 21-year-old in good mental shape after a tough time.

“We’ve got a programme in place that if he gets the work done then we will sporadically keep our eye on him to make sure he is at the right check points and bench marks,” he added.

“Chris Neville will take care of the end stage, but in that in-between stage we will be taking that on board.

“We have designed this strategy to make sure we get it right from a mental and physical side.”