South Shields left-back Anthony Callaghan is to undergo surgery next month as he continues his recovery from a back fracture.

Callaghan has been sidelined since playing for the Mariners against Kendal Town on Boxing Day last year. Numerous treatment options have been explored in the last seven months, and it has been decided that spinal surgery is the best way forward for the 24-year-old.

Callaghan, who has made 49 appearances for Shields since joining from Washington in October 2016, is hoping to have recovered in time to compete for a place in the team during the Christmas period. He is currently on a pre-operation programme with club physio Andrew Morris in a bid to aid the recovery process.

The full-back is confident that when he does return to the pitch, he will be fitter and stronger than ever before.

He said: “I’m hoping to be back between three and four months after the operation if all goes well with the rehab.

“I want to compete for my place again. I’m a young, fit lad and I tend to pick up fitness quite easily, which should help the recovery process.

“If I do make it back near Christmas, that could be a great time for the team when there are lots of games. Then it’ll be up to me to do everything I can to get back in the team.”

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