IT WILL be like having two new signings when long-term injury absentees Mickey Demetriou and Ade Azeez return to action for Newport County, says boss Michael Flynn.

Defender Demetriou, 29, broke his right leg during August’s 1-0 home win over Plymouth Argyle, while striker Azeez, 25, suffered Achilles damage in the summer.

The duo, according to Flynn, are looking in “really good shape” and “stepping up their recoveries”.

There is a chance both could be back in action before the year is out, but Flynn is understandably keen to make sure they don’t rush their returns.

“Ade and Mickey are coming on really well,” said Flynn. “They’ve both got their (protective) boots off and really stepping up their recoveries.

“They’re both looking in really good shape. Mickey will be back before Ade, but Ade has been working very hard and the physio department are very happy with his attitude and desire to get back.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we curb that a little bit because we don’t him to rush the last couple of weeks.

“He’s been out for a long time, but we need to make sure he’s right.

“Everything has gone right, it’s gone according to the rehab programme and he’s where he needs to be. He should be back in late December or early January.”

He added: “It’s going to be like two new signings (when they’re both back).

“Mickey played a few games, but we haven’t had them all season, really.

“I think the Colchester game was the first time we’ve missed Mickey, which is a credit to the other defenders.

“He gives us that balance on the left-hand side, especially when you’re looking to build the play.

“He’s comfortable coming out of defence with the ball.

“I’m hoping Mickey will be back this month, but I’m not rushing him either.”

Defender Ryan Inniss is in constant contact with Demetriou and says his team-mate’s fitness is improving all the time.

“Mickey has been great with me and he speaks to me all the time,” said Inniss. “He had a pretty horrific injury, but he’s made great strides.

“He was in a cast when I arrived and he couldn’t do much, but now he’s powering away in the gym.

“He works very hard and I’m sure he’ll be working even harder once he’s back on the training pitch.

“I’ve just got to keep pushing myself and he’ll push me when he’s fit.

“Competition is always healthy and whoever gets picked on the Saturday has to keep the shirt.”

Meanwhile, Flynn says right-back Dan Leadbitter, who underwent knee surgery last month, is looking at up to another 10 weeks on the sidelines providing his rehabilitation goes smoothly.

l Newport County have become just the fourth English Football League club to sign up to the Mental Health Charter for Sports and Recreation.

Signing up to the charter means a club is committing to improving the mental health of players, staff and volunteers, but also in the local community.

County join Burton Albion, Fulham and Reading in making the commitment.

To make a public declaration of the commitment an official signing ceremony will be held at the civic centre after the General Election in December.