TOM LANG is hoping to be like a new signing for the Pars as he returns from a lengthy absence.

The central defender made his debut against Alloa in the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup in early September but had to be withdrawn after an hour with a hamstring injury.

It was expected to rule him out for just a few weeks but a series of setbacks in training halted his progress.

Now, after months on the sidelines, he can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

He’s been involved in two matchday squads in recent weeks and after making it through a bounce game on Monday, he’s raring to go.

“It’s been a long, long slog,” he told Press Sport.

“Getting injured is the worst possible thing that can happen when you’re coming into a new club.

“You’re trying to impress people and the next thing you know is that you’re on the sidelines for three months. It was only supposed to be a few weeks.

“The first session back was on a Monday morning with the boys who hadn’t played that weekend.

“I clearly wasn’t ready as when I went to sprint I felt it again immediately.

“I just couldn’t believe it.

“We took our time after that in terms of working my way back, but after working so hard on building up my hamstring again, I felt a wee twinge in my quad.

“I’ve never really had injuries like this before. It’s been so frustrating watching the boys in training day-in and day-out.”

He has his fingers crossed that he’ll now be able to put his injury hell in the past and work towards finding a way into the starting XI and “showing people what I’m all about”.

He laughed that watching from the stands was no substitute and that he’s a very poor spectator.

“I hate watching,” he remarked. “I’m quite calm on the outside while watching matches but I feel like I’m calmer while playing.

“I hate watching because you can’t influence the game.

“Listen, everyone can play football on the sidelines, but when you’re on the pitch it’s a completely different story. It’s been frustrating not being to help the boys in any way.”

Support from those closest to him played a vital part in his recovery, and wise words from his parents were listened to keenly.

He said: “The support from friends and family was massive as well.

“I think having them there is the most important part in recovery.

“We’re in training for four to five hours a day, so the rest of your time is spent at home.

“My girlfriend has been a lot of help and my mum and dad, even though they live away, have been calling me and reminding me to be patient and to let my body heal.

“You do have those down moments when you’re injured and you just need to be patient and keep positive.

“I’ve had setback after setback and you start thinking to yourself, ‘Oh my God, when am I going to get back?’, but it’s about making sure you’re ready fully and not to rush the process like I had done the last time.

“I knew I had to be patient so I changed my mindset.

“Let’s get stronger. Let’s get faster. Let’s work hard in the gym. That’s what I was telling myself.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be playing for a while so I thought to myself, ‘Right, what can I do off the pitch to make myself better when I come back?’

“I’ve just got to take the chance when it comes now.

“When will that be? I don’t know, but I’ll be ready.”