SALISBURY City skipper Chris Giles believes his career-saving operation has been a success and is desperate for a return in the heart of defence on Saturday, writes JOEL HOLT.

The 30-year-old has had a miserable 11 months on the sidelines, suffering with an ankle injury which has kept hampering him.

Not helped by an operation that was unsuccessful, Giles went under the knife again in January and this time his 'gut feeling' says the ankle arthroscopy operation has worked.

“My fingers are crossed that the operation has worked this time," he said.

I'm certainly confident but a little bit scared to smile at the minute. But ever since I had the operation, my ankle has felt a lot better.

“In terms of kicking a ball it's OK, it's just about trying to get my ankle used to a lot of running.

“I'm chomping at the bit but I don't want another breakdown so I need to make sure I'm ready to return.

“It's still a bit premature to say whether I'll be fit for Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday, but my aim is to be.

We'll see what happens but my gut feeling says it has worked.” The journeyman made a brief return to action in October and needed to raise more than £2,500 to have the operation.

Devoted Salisbury fans chipped in to help cough up the cash and Giles claimed the only way to thank them is to help gain promotion to the Conference Premier.

“All the money fans have raised for me has come through,” he added. “The supporters have been brilliant and what they did will be long remembered. The only way I can possibly thank them is by helping the lads win the league.

"I know it's going to be hard to get back in the side but it's up to someone else on whether they think I'm worthy of getting in and then it's up to me to keep my place."

During the defender's frustrating injury, he's been busy keeping fit, including 80-mile round cycle trips to Wincanton, where he lives and hits the swimming pool.