HE has missed almost a year of action, but Padgate boxer Nathan Wheatley hopes his injury nightmare is well and truly behind him as he looks to reignite his career.

Shoulder problems have kept “The Wire” out of the ring since March, when he outpointed Chris Jenkinson at the Manchester Arena to take his professional record to seven wins from as many bouts.

Wheatley, who celebrated his 29th birthday on January 4, has changed trainers since then and has slowly built the strength in his shoulder back up.

The middleweight will resume sparring this month with a view to fighting again in March and he says he feels “better than ever.”

“I’m itching to get back in there, even just to start sparring again. I really do feel better than ever,” he said.

“I’ve not done any proper boxing since last March. I’ve been going crazy!

“The shoulder is all good, fixed and ready to go for this year.

“I’ve gone through all the physio now and the shoulder feels really good.

“I’ve had people asking me what’s been going on but I’m still here!”

Wheatley is now trained and promoted by Matthew Hatton, brother of former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton.

He says Hatton has been “brilliant” with him in his recovery as he outlined his plan for a return to action.

“The AC joint was loose in my right shoulder, so I’ve had to have a lot of physio on it.

“It wasn’t just the shoulder muscles but ones in my back that needed strengthening as well.

“That took a good six months as my back muscles were too weak and it meant my joints were moving.

“I’m starting sparring again this month and I want to be back in the ring by March.

“I got to know Matt by sparring some of his boxers and it went on from there.

“Matt’s been brilliant. He’s extremely easy to work with.

“He’s very chilled out and easy to talk to so he was happy to be patient and allow me to get myself back fit again.

“My sponsors, Eat Clean, have stuck with me through my break as well and I can’t thank them enough.”

Wheatley was due to fight for the Central Area middleweight title against Barnsley’s Ben Davies in April, but his shoulder problems forced him to withdraw from the bout.

Manchester’s Matthew Ryan currently holds that title and Wheatley says he hopes to be in a position to challenge for the belt this year.

However, the former Hook and Jab Boxing Club amateur says he needs to build himself back up before thinking too far ahead.

“I want to be out every two or three months after March,” he said.

“If we can do that, we’ll be in a pretty good position at the end of the year.

“The main thing for us is to get the first one out of the way, just to make sure the shoulder is okay.

“I was meant to fight for the area title in my last fight, but I was forced to pull out of that one.

“If I could fight for that again at the back end of the year that would be perfect!”

Wheatley is welcoming any potential new sponsors in order to support his training. Any interested parties should contact Tim Rickson, Nathan’s agent, on 07951 456457.