Newcastle Jets are set for a further boost to their Hyundai A-League title hopes with star import Ronald Vargas targeting a February return from his injury.
The Venezuelan star hasn’t played since October when he suffered a horrific broken ankle in the win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
While it was initially feared his season was over, Vargas is now set for a return well before the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
Speaking to www.a-league.com.au, the 31-year-old says his recovery is ahead of schedule and he hopes to be back on the pitch on the Jets’ charge to the finals.
"The truth is that [the leg] is much better. It's going the way that we want,” Vargas said.
“Everything is progressing in the time that I've been out, thanks to God."
"I think in four weeks or six weeks, [I want] to be playing again."
In credit to the way Ernie Merrick had his side playing this season, the Jets hardly skipped a beat in Vargas’ absence, sitting comfortably in second spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
But they managed to bolster their squad with the addition of Argentine playmaker Pato Rodriguez as Vargas’ injury replacement.
The pair know each other well and actually played together in Greece at AEK Athens, with Vargas playing a key role in helping to get Rodriguez to the Hunter.
"He's very fast. He has many characteristics that they we're going to take advantage of here,” the Venezuelan said.
“I think this because of what I have seen and know of the [league], and in terms of his manner, he was one of the best friends I had at the club I played with before in Greece.
“Now I have the opportunity again to be with him here, so I hope that it's positive and good."
While getting back on the pitch and helping the Jets to their first Championship in a decade is Vargas’ main focus right now, there’s one other thing also high on his agenda.
Loving life near the beaches of Newcastle, he hopes to finally get on a surfboard once back to full fitness.
"I intend to [learn to surf] but first I have to get rid of this problem that I have,” he said.
“Then trying to play well is what is most important to me, and then later, yes I'm surely going to try."