Scarborough Athletic man Luke Dean getting stronger for the business end
Luke Dean is getting closer and closer to his best after making a welcome return to the Scarborough Athletic midfield.
The 27-year-old limped off after just a few minutes of Boro's 3-1 defeat at Farsley Celtic in early November and he has only recently come back into the reckoning after surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee.
And with the knee feeling stronger and stronger with every game that passes, Dean is aiming to be a main component in Boro's push towards a place in the Evo-Stik Premier play-offs.
"My knee felt good on Tuesday, which is the first time in a long, long while," he said.
"Ever since I've been at Bradford Park Avenue, I've been having injections because of a torn meniscus in my knee.
"I have them every three months, but the one before the Farsley game must have been a bit too early, so when I played it actually tore the meniscus a bit more.
"I had an operation to clear my knee out and everything is okay again now.
"It is nice now not to be holding back because when you are injured that is exactly what you do.
"Over the past three games my knee has been feeling stronger and stronger. During the York game on Tuesday night I wasn't feeling any pain at all, I was able to open my legs up.
"I don't think I'm at my best yet, but I'm definitely getting there. In a few more games I'll be back getting on the ball, getting about the pitch and pressing."
Dean now believes that mental strength and sticking together will get Boro to the Holy Grail of the play-offs, starting with the game at Marine on Saturday.
He added: "It is our first season in this league, we were never going to go out and win it.
"Our aim is still the play-offs though, if we don't manage that then we have under-achieved.
"We have got the players and the gaffer is behind us 100%, it is just up to us to do it.
"We were in a similar position from last year, we stuck together then and we have to stick together now.
"We have played Marine a couple of times this season and we know that it won't be easy on Saturday.
"It is a case of being mentally strong and having a positive mindset, if we do that then we won't be far away."