David Ball wants to end the season as Fleetwood Town’s top scorer after bouncing back from injury in double quick time.
The striker has made two substitute appearances for the first team in the last fortnight and played 60 minutes for the development squad at Leeds United on Tuesday as he continues his journey back to fitness.
Not bad for a man who wasn’t expected back until next month at the earliest after breaking a leg in the defeat at Milton Keynes Dons in October.
“It has been quick,” Ball admitted. “I got the scan done on the Monday before the Oldham game and I got the all-clear.
“They said I could start training on the grass straight away.
“I’d kept myself in good shape. I’ve learned a lot from the other injuries I’ve had.
“I’ve made sure I was ready to hit the ground running, and the fact I’ve already played a part shows that.
“Now it’s just a case of building back up and getting my place back in the starting 11.”
Ball scored in that ill-fated game at MK Dons but none of Town’s other strikers have found the net since (Tom Hitchock did on loan but has since returned to MK Dons).
But Ball insists those who have played up front in his absence have still made telling contributions.
He added: “They have done well. They’ve been playing good football but maybe not had the luck they needed.
“Jamie Proctor has been fantastic and Stephen Dobbie’s had some good games too.
“But it’s goals you thrive on as a striker and they’ll be frustrated. You sense that if one finds the net, you’ll hit a run.
“It happened for Jamie at the start of the season and it was the same for me. I went six games without a goal and thought I was just hitting some form when the injury happened.
“That’s the frustrating thing but it’s just part of the game.”
Ball now has one intention for the remainder of the campaign. “I want to get in there and end the season as top scorer,” he said.
“We’ve not scored a lot of goals this season but I think we could have had more.
“We can change that between now and the end of the season.
“I just have to prove to the manager I can play a big part in that.”
Ball is one of four forward players boss Graham Alexander has at his disposal.
And the 24-year-old knows they all bring different qualities.
“None of use are the same kind of player,” he said. “There’s Liam McAlinden in there too.
“I think we were forming a decent partnership before I got injured. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to play together again.
“But whoever gets the start should be capable of scoring.”
Sixth-placed Fleetwood are averaging one goal per game in their debut League One season .
They face second-placed Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Sunday, the clubs having drawn 3-3 at Highbury in September.