Torquay United midfielder Armani Little is increasingly confident of a ‘third time lucky’ comeback which will see him at his strongest and fittest for next season.

Fans’ favourite Little suffered three hamstring injuries during his frustrating first campaign with the Gulls, culminating in surgery at the end of February.

The former Oxford United and Woking loan player is spending the current ‘shutdown’ at home in Southampton on a programme of rehabilitation which is right on schedule.

Little revealed: “The first injury (September) was a strain and the second (October) the hamstring ‘went’ fully.

“But the third injury (February) was completely different - it happened when I passed the ball and the tendon came away from the bone.

“I can tell that the whole area is stronger than ever - it feels better already - and that’s good for my head as well as my body.

“The first four weeks after the operation I couldn’t do a lot apart from exercises, but now I’ve started on bike rides.

“As time goes on, each week I feel I can move on to something else. I am doing everything that I could if I was still in Torquay, I speak to Kai (physio Kai Hepworth) every few days and I am definitely on schedule.”

Little, 23, added: “The situation in football is still so unpredictable at the moment. But from my point of view, I am not caring too much about the rest of this season.

“All my focus is on next season, and I am looking forward to coming back and smashing it again then.”

United manager Gary Johnson made Little one of his key signings of last summer, after he had impressed for National League South title rivals Woking against the Gulls.

At the start of a two-year contract and during each spell of action so far, Little has looked every bit as good as Johnson rated him, and he is seen as a potentially key attacking player in the club’s hopes of winning promotion back to the Football League in 2020-2021.