NEWPORT County AFC defender Byron Anthony is fighting fit after boxing sessions with Mo Nasir and hoping the Exiles can land another blow on his former club tomorrow.
The 29-year-old centre-back has been sidelined since suffering a double fracture to both the tibia and fibula while captaining his hometown club in the Capital One Cup at Brighton & Hove Albion back in August.
But five months on he’s back in training ahead of schedule and looking forward to the trip to his old club Bristol Rovers, who are hovering just above the drop zone in League Two.
“I had the OK to start full training last week and I’m extremely excited to be back out there with the boys,” said Anthony, who was a key part of County’s promotion from the Conference last season.
“It’s where I belong and I’m really enjoying being a part of it again.
“I’m ahead of schedule. It’s normally a six to nine month injury and it’s only been five months and two weeks.”
Anthony is unlikely to play any part against Rovers but he’s relishing what should be a fiery derby atmosphere with more than 1,200 County fans making the trip.
“I’ve enjoyed training every day and I’m feeling fitter and sharper every day so who knows? I’m getting there,” he said.
“I’m just taking it one step at a time right now. I need to get my fitness back, build up my strength and then hopefully I can get my shirt back.
“But I’ll be at the game, whether I’m involved or not, and it will be great to go back there for a local derby in front of a lot of passionate fans.
“I had six good years there but I’m hoping we can get another good win against them like we did in August.
“I don’t think they’ll go down but my focus is on Newport now and we need the points to keep up with the other promotion contenders.”
Anthony says he has benefited from training with Commonwealth Games medallist Nasir at his Newport gym but he won’t be taking up boxing as a second career.
“It’s a great way to get fit,” said Anthony. “Mo’s a great guy and comes highly recommended but it is hard work. I wouldn’t want to be a boxer that’s for sure!”