Port Vale: Rob Taylor looks to make up for lost time
WINGER Rob Taylor is relishing a return to first-team action after returning from injury nearly a month ahead of schedule.
The versatile 27-year-old believes he is close to tackling a full 90 minutes for the first time since March after recovering from Achilles and calf injuries.
The initial problem dates back to last October when Taylor needed injections to play through the pain and he required a complete rest from running over the summer.
He also had a saline injection at the start of August to kill off the damaged cells that were slowing his comeback.
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"I didn't expect to be back until the end of September, but I've made a lot of progress," he said.
"I've played games for the reserves and done 15 and 20 minutes for the first team. It's just what I've needed.
"It has been a frustrating time. I've been in all summer without a holiday trying anything to help the process speed up. It's brilliant to be back involved.
"I will always feel a bit of pain and I'll be playing catch-up after missing pre-season training especially one like the gaffer's."
Manager Micky Adams has promised to field his strongest possible team for tonight's Johnstone's Paint Trophy first-round tie against Tranmere at Vale Park (7.15pm).
Taylor, centre-half Gareth Owen, full-back Adam Yates and striker Ben Williamson are all hoping to win call-ups to the side which drew 1-1 with Torquay on Saturday.
Lewis Haldane, who suffered a double fracture to his left leg in a meeting with Tranmere at the same stage of the same competition 12 months ago, is the only absentee.
Ticket prices have been reduced to £10 and £5 concessions.
Under-16s accompanied by a paying adult have free admission.
Match preview: Page 46