Torquay United left-back Liam Davis believes that he is on the home straight of his comeback after having metalwork removed from the left ankle he injured more than seven months ago.

Fans’ favourite Davis, the Gulls’ longest-serving player, sustained a combination of ankle damage in a tackle during a 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Maidstone United last November 9.

He needed surgery and lengthy rehabilitation, eventually starting light training before the Covid-19 crisis ended the NL season in mid-March.

After several delays Davis, 33, has finally had a small plate and screws removed from his ankle, and he says: “I am happy that’s been done, and I can get on with normal rehab.

“I didn’t plan it this way, but the way things have worked out, with the season ended early because of Covid-19, has given me more time to recover. I just want to crack on now.”

Gulls manager Gary Johnson said: “It’s a big step forward for Liam, and we appreciate everything that his surgeon has done for him.

“Liam has got time now to be ready for next season, and it will be like signing a new player for us.

“When Liam, with all his experience and ability, plays most of the games, your side is stronger because of it.”

Davis’ comeback has been paralleled by midfielder Armani Little, who is recovering from hamstring surgery after three injuries last season.

The former Southampton, Oxford United and Woking loanee made 18 appearances and scored three goals in 2019-2020 and, like Davis, believes that the curtailed season has worked in his favour.

Little is on a programme of progressive running at home in Hampshire and United are confident that he will be fit to rejoin the squad for pre-season training, which is expected to start in early-August.