Lewis Thompson returned to training at March Town on Thursday night for the first time in two months.

The 22-year-old had a knee operation in early November but needs another, and until then is free to carry on playing.

He said: “Basically when I went in for knee surgery, they cleaned the knee out and the cartilege but they found the anterior cruciate ligament was missing. They couldn’t operate as it was only keyhole surgery I had.

“I’m booked in for knee reconstruction in April or May. They said it will OK to play until then; the knee can’t get any worse.”

The Wisbech-based midfielder added: “I have had a few problems with my knees in the past but I can’t pinpoint when the injury happened. It’s progressed slowly over time.

“It got to a point where it needed to be looked at.”

Former Wisbech Town player Thompson trained pre-season at the GER ground with the Hares before joining Ely City. “I signed for Ely under good terms with March, but things didn’t work out.

“I have just talked with Paul Crosbie and the management staff and they’re keen for me to get back.”

It has been a frustrating spell away from football: “I am a terrible spectator but I’ve been to watch Norwich City as I’m a big fan,” added Thompson.

“It still doesn’t substitute for playing. I am hoping to get a few 90 minutes under my belt for the Reserves in the next couple of weeks and take it from there.”

Hares manager Paul Crosbie said: “It is a massive boost if Lewis is able to play, but his long-term health is the priority. He is a big character.

“It has been over a month since we’ve played. We will be juggling the squad over the next two games.”

Utility player Michael Anker misses the Halstead away game on Saturday but Crosbie said there is plenty of cover for the player’s favoured centre-half position.

Crosbie added on last Saturday’s postponed game with Stowmarket: “We have to grin and bear it while keeping the lads fit and active.”