NEILL Collins is desperate for a return to action after admitting he finds watching his Sheffield United team mates more stressful than actually playing matches.
The Scottish centre-half is expected to be absent for at least four weeks after fracturing his cheekbone during the 3-0 victory over Scunthorpe on Boxing Day.
But Collins said: “I hate missing games. I’m not a good watcher of football because I am always heading and kicking every ball.
“It’s more stressful watching from the stands because you are helpless.
“I had surgery on Boxing Day which was fortunate as you can’t really wait too long with facial injuries.
“The surgeon had to put the bone back in place in three areas but I am just relieved I didn’t need steel plates inserting.”
United, beaten by Yeovil Town last weekend, resume their bid for promotion from League One at Notts County on Saturday.
With fellow defender Matt Hill also ruled-out with a broken jaw, the task of anchoring the visitors’ rearguard has now fallen upon the shoulders of experienced duo Danny Higginbotham and Tony McMahon.
Collins’ fiercely competitive streak has prompted him to investigate ways of accelerating his rehabilitation process.
However, given his importance to the United cause, medical staff are unlikely to take any gambles on his fitness and risk prolonging his absence from the team.
Collins, speaking in the South Yorkshire club’s matchday programme, added: “I am on schedule to return within the timescale the manager gave at the time of my injury and I’m just itching to get back involved on the training pitch.
“Hopefully I will be running soon and then not long after that back in non-contact training.”