BURY captain Stephen Dawson has been impressed with the club's professionalism after seeking the best possible treatment to put him on the road to recovery.

The Irish midfielder rejoined the Shakers from Scunthorpe in the summer but in just his second game back he suffered a knee injury in the Carabao Cup defeat by Sunderland in August.

Dawson suffered a torn cartilage, meaning a four-month lay-off, but his rehabilitation was made slightly easier knowing he had been seen by arguably the country's top knee surgeon.

The club arranged for the Shakers' skipper to visit Andy Williams, who has recently treated Sadio Mane and Danny Welbeck, and previously worked with the likes of John Terry, Didier Drogba, Andrew Flintoff and Lawrence Dallaglio.

“The club were great,” Dawson told the Bury Times. “I went down to see Andy Williams in London. The stats speak for themselves but I believe he's the best knee specialist in England.

“He said it'd take time and I can't rush things. Although I've been back in full training the last week and people are asking when I'm back, I've got to be careful because of the nature of the injury.

“Me being too eager to come back could be my downfall so I want to make sure I'm right, both physically and mentally, to try to get back in the team and contribute to getting them back up the league because that's what we're all here to do.”

The 32-year-old is now back in full-contact training and was set to boost his fitness with a behind-closed-doors game against Accrington at Carrington on Tuesday. But just like last Saturday's league match against AFC Wimbledon, that too fell victim to the cold weather.

The Shakers hope to arrange another game at Carrington early next week, ahead of the trip to Peterborough, which is a more realistic target for Dawson's return than this Saturday's game at in-form Portsmouth.

“I've been running every day for three or four weeks and my knee's great – no pain, no swelling, no nothing,” he added.

“I've got to build up my match fitness now because I don't want to be coming back in, being miles off and letting my team-mates down. I've got to be right for the team and for myself because we've got a bit of an undefeated run going now.

“Portsmouth will be a tough test, they're going about their business well. But if we can start to put back-to-back wins together, be really positive about how we go about stuff, we can start getting back to the side we know we can be.”