Gulls' defender Liam Davis: 'I'll be back'

Torquay United player Liam Davis attacking during the Vanarama National League Match between Notts C

Liam Davis has not kicked a ball in anger for 16 months. - Credit: Steve Bond/Pinnacle

Popular Torquay United defender Liam Davis has told Gulls supporters: "I will be back" as he continues his long recovery from two ankle operations.

Attacking left-back Davis has not kicked a ball in anger for 16 months, but he has now joined United teammate Danny Wright for a second week of testing at the FA's Rehabilitation Centre at Burton-on-Trent.

Striker Wright is hoping for an all-clear to resume training after hamstring surgery, while Davis is just about to start jogging.

But United's longest-serving player says: "It's all about progressing to the next stage - from where I was, you've got to crawl first, walk, jog and then sprint.

"The good thing is that from running to sprinting can happen quite quickly, and at my age I'm not suddenly going to forget how to play football.

"I feel a bit upset when fans ask me when I'll be playing again, because it's been such a long time.  I want to play and they want to see me out there.

"But I will be back - that's definitely the plan."

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Davis, 34, sustained fractures and ruptured ligaments in his left ankle trying to equalise in Torquay's 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Maidstone United on November 9, 2019 - it was his 100th appearance for the Gulls.

Meanwhile, a combination of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Hartlepool United -  a fifth home game without a win - and Tuesday's results knocked the Gulls off the top of the National League for the first time in more than four months.

Sutton's 2-1 home win (current run - W10 D3 L2) over Yeovil Town lifted them three points ahead of Torquay, with a game in hand, while Hartlepool are now second after a 1-1 draw with ten men at Altrincham.

The Gulls head for Boreham Wood (BT Sport) on Saturday (5.20pm) and then Maidenhead United next Tuesday, while another issue remains beyond their control.

Dover Athletic are still refusing to play on like the rest of the division, with major ramifications for promotion/relegation issues.

Johnson stresses: "For the league's integrity, it's a situation we need to see resolved.

"The longer it goes on without a decision, the worse it will get."