MORTON’S Rory McKeown hopes to be back playing soon after stepping up his recovery from a ‘freak’ injury.

The left-back has been out injured since the end of January and has missed the last three games.

The defender damaged a ligament in his calf during training, with Ton’s coaching staff originally thinking it was just a dead calf.

What was first thought to be only a couple of days on the sidelines has turned into weeks, but the 25-year-old took his first steps back to recovery this week after being able to run for the first time since the injury occurred.

McKeown says it’s the first time he’s been ruled out of games through injury in his seven-year playing career, and he can’t wait to get back involved in the first team action again.

He told the Tele: “I’ve been making progress and this week has been the first time I’ve been able to run and be involved in training in three weeks.

“It was just from a tackle in training, it was one of those freak ones where I went to block a shot from Reghan and his follow through has caught my calf. It wasn’t a bad tackle or anything.

“This is the first time I’ve been unavailable for a game in about seven years. It’s strange for me, even though it’s been three weeks, and unfortunately for the likes of big Denny [Johnstone] it’s three weeks too much for me. I can’t wait to be back training.

“The ligament in the front of my calf got damaged, so it’s taken a little while to settle down.

“It was originally a dead calf but the ligament was sore underneath and we didn’t know about that injury until the dead calf settled down and we realised the ligament was damaged.

“It’s finally starting to settle down so hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back.

“Alyson [Fielding], the club physio, said it’s a freak injury, but we’re getting there.

“I don’t know when I’ll be back yet. I’m just taking each day as it comes because I don’t know what sort of reaction I will get after stepping up the running this week.”

The defender had been getting a run in the team, but was one of a number of players dropped for the Scottish Cup defeat to East Fife.

The former Kilmarnock player has played 18 times this season for Morton after signing under former Ton boss Ray McKinnon, who he had played under at Raith Rovers previously.

The left-back admits it’s been an odd campaign after McKinnon moved to Falkirk shortly after he signed and Jonatan Johansson arrived at Cappielow to replace him.

He added: “It’s been a strange season. Obviously coming up here and signing for Ray, I was really looking forward to the season but whatever happened there, we took it on the chin.

“There was a lot of chopping and changing around the team when the new gaffer came in but there’s a wee bit of stability around the team now.

“For me personally my goal at the start of the season was just to play as much as I could.

“I was out of the team for a while and my form probably wasn’t the best so it was probably justified, but I want to be playing. I’ve played everywhere I’ve been previously.

“It’s frustrating to be out injured now, there’s not a good time to get injured but I was starting to get a run in the team and we weren’t doing too badly.”