JIM Duffy has challenged Morton’s ‘Captain Fantastic’ Lee Kilday to continue his good progress after finally ending his long injury ordeal.

The 26-year-old defender marked the end of his 10-month injury layoff with an important 45-minute runout on Tuesday night, during the club’s 2-0 Development League West win over East Kilbride.

It’s the first time Kilday has featured in any kind of football action after succumbing to an ankle injury last year that prompted two operations, leaving the player fearing for his career.

Although two first-half goals from Scott Miller and Alexander Easdale earned Ton the three points at Cappielow, the undoubted highlight was seeing Kilday play the first 45 minutes.

Afterwards, Kilday admitted he was ‘delighted’ to get 45 minutes in the tank.

Ton manager Jim Duffy reckons Kilday will now get a huge psychological boost from being back in the thick of it once again.

He told Tele Sport: “I think that, psychologically, it’s the biggest boost.

“Injuries are part and parcel of football and obviously they’re horrible for players.

“Unless you played professional football, sometimes I don’t think people understand how demoralising it can actually be, particularly when you get set-backs after them.

“When Lee had his operation initially, everybody thought it was going to be a wee tidy-up of his ankle and that he’d be back within a very short period of time.

“But then he had a second operation and the injury lingered on.

“These things are demoralising for players. They get so frustrated, they get down and it’s their livelihood.

“But it’s not just their livelihood, it’s something they love; there’s the adrenaline, the rush.

“And when you are in the treatment room and all the other players are out training, again, it’s the psychological aspect of it.

“It can also be really difficult to get yourself motivated. But Lee’s worked really hard over the last few months to try to get himself into a situation where he’s now close to getting back involved.”

Duffy, though, says there is still plenty of work for Kilday to do as he attempts to force his way back into his plans, especially so late in the campaign.

Duffy said: “The challenge for Lee, as he gets closer and closer, is to try to force his way back.

“It’s been a struggle for Lee but he’s been a really important player for me since I came to the club.

“We just want him to be back playing again and we’ll see how close he gets to his level after that.

“There is no doubt that it’s good to have him back involved in first-team training and that helps him because it’s extra motivation for him to try to push on.

“And when you get back in amongst the guys, on and off the pitch, you feel more part of it, so I’m delighted for him but he’s still got a fight ahead of him.”