NEWPORT County AFC defender Mickey Demetriou is progressing well in his recovery from a broken leg.

The 29-year-old suffered a fractured fibula against Plymouth Argyle on August 17 and had an operation later that week to fit a plate to help fix the problem.

The cast was taken off last week and Demetriou is targeting a return to action by the end of November.

“Mickey’s doing alright,” said fellow County central defender and former housemate Mark O’Brien.

“He’s got his cast off now so he’s on the other side of rehab now where he can start progressing with it slowly.”

O’Brien knows Demetriou well on and off the pitch and he knows that his friend is determined to get fit as soon as possible.

“He is frustrated,” added the Exiles’ vice-captain. “He’s not one of these players that likes sitting in the stand watching games because, as his record shows, he’s played nearly 60 games for the last two or three years.

“He doesn’t enjoy sitting around, but he’s had to take it on the chin and he’ll be back stronger for it.”

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Speaking to the official club website shortly after his op, Demetriou said: “No one likes getting injured. No one likes missing games and I’m not used to it at this football club.

“The stats speak for themselves; I’ve only missed out on one game in my two and a half years here and that was when I fractured my cheekbone. 120 games later, I’ve got a little spell on the sidelines and I can’t get too down about it.

“Yes, I’ll have a few down days. But the lads and the gaffer will help keep the spirits up. I’ll come back stronger.”

Demetriou has been at Rodney Parade to watch County’s home wins over Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale and last Saturday’s draw with League Two leaders Exeter City.

And, while Ryan Inniss serves a five-match ban, Kyle Howkins has been the most regular deputy for Demetriou.

The summer signing from West Bromwich Albion played alongside him in the opening two games of the season while O’Brien was suspended.

He then replaced Demetriou and scored the winner against Plymouth and, after initially losing his starting spot to Inniss, he has now played the last three games alongside O’Brien.

And the experienced Irishman has been impressed by the 23-year-old Midlander.

“It’s brilliant playing alongside Kyle,” said O’Brien, who may be only 26 but made his debut for Derby County a decade ago.

“All of the new lads coming in have bought into the philosophy straightaway.

“We’re a tight-knit group and everybody gets on – on and off the field.

“The least that we expect here is that you have to enjoy defending and enjoy putting your body on the line because that’s what it takes to get results in League Two.

“Kyle has come in and done that and he’s done unbelievably well.

“It’s kind of been needed because you do pick injuries along the way and in previous years, we haven’t really had that cover but we’ve got people in now who can step in and do a job and he’s been brilliant.”

Inniss, who admitted an FA charge for biting in the Leasing.com Trophy defeat to West Ham United under-21s, will be eligible to return for the Trophy tie against Exeter on October 8.

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