CROSSFLATTS Village talisman Lee Bailey is looking forward to regaining his place in the team after undergoing surgery on his troublesome back injury in London.

The 38-year-old has been suffering with the problem for the last 18 months and it has stopped him playing regularly for the last two seasons.

Lee was finally referred to a top back specialist in May after a round of rigorous tests at the Yorkshire Clinic in Bingley before successfully going under the knife in October.

The versatile midfield maestro said: “It’s such a relief to get the operation out of the way and now I have to get back to full fitness before I can force my way back into manager Kevin Gill’s plans.

"I know I am going to have my work cut out but I have confidence in my ability.”

Gill is delighted that Bailey is now heading towards full fitness, with his team still in the hunt for the Bradford Sunday Alliance Championship and still in three cup competitions.

“It’s like signing a new player," he said. "Lee has always been a special player and his return to the fold is great news. He does things that other players can only dream of.

"He will give us another dimension. Realistically he will be knocking on the door for a starting place in the new year.”