FOR Jay Harris, it has been an arduous few months on the Warrington Town sidelines.

As a result of the groin injury he sustained during pre-season, the veteran midfielder has been forced to watch on as Mark Beesley’s stretched squad adapted to the pressures of National League North football.

It is an adjustment they have made well despite the adversity brought on by a lengthy injury list, but Harris is now edging closer to being fully available again.

Having been an influential figure in the side that won promotion last season, his return to the Town engine room cannot come soon enough but he has been impressed by how his teammates have coped with what has been thrown at them.

“We’ve been missing some key players from the back end of last season in myself, Matty McDonald, Evan Gumbs and Josh Amis although he’s back now,” he said.

“We started well then we had a bit of a blip even if the performances were still there – the lads were giving it everything.

“We’re inexperienced in this league and having key players missing doesn’t help, but the lads have done well. We’re still riding a bit of a wave and picking up results here and there.

“On the whole, I’m happy to be back as I’ve missed being on the field, but I’ve been happy helping out with Bees and Dave (Raven, assistant manager) on the sidelines as well.

“I’m just happy to be involved in whatever capacity.”

Harris suffered the injury during Town’s penultimate pre-season game against Nantwich, and his return has had to be managed delicately.

Finally, though, he was cleared to make his on-field comeback slightly earlier than scheduled by playing the first half of the Cheshire Senior Cup victory over Ashville in midweek.

“It was a long time coming and probably earlier than expected,” former Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers man Harris said.

“I’d only ran two or three times in five months but over the last week or so before the game, I was feeling alright.

“I spoke to the physio and the gaffer and we agreed to give it a go to see if I could get 45 minutes in.

“The key was getting 45 minutes in pain-free, which I did, but with this injury it was more about how things were in the days after the game.

“Fingers crossed, it’s felt okay so that’s positive.”

Harris’ return to contention comes at an opportune time for Town, who have a three-game week coming up while the busy Christmas period is just around the corner.

Tomorrow’s home game against Tamworth is subject to a 10am pitch inspection due to the current cold weather, but Beesley’s side are also in midweek action with a trip to Hereford on Tuesday night.