CHESTER FC striker Akwasi Asante has assured fans he is almost ready to return as the Blues look to recapture the form that carried them into the National League North's top three.

It is only just over a month ago that Chester beat fellow promotion chasers AFC Telford 2-1 with Asante scoring his fifth goal of a successful loan spell from Tamworth.

But since then injuries to key players including Gary Stopforth and Anthony Dudley as well as Asante has meant the Blues' fortunes have plummeted with only one win since the triumph over Telford meaning Chester currently sit eighth, outside the play offs and in desperate need of a victory at Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.

"The plan is for me to rejoin training this week but I'm obviously easing my way back in after being out for six weeks," said Asante, who suffered damage to the ligaments at the back of his knee during the Telford game.

"The injury was worse than first expected and it has been a horrible time not being able to play and help the lads. No one likes being injured but unfortunately it is just part of the game."

Despite the severity of his knock, the 26-year-old Dutch-born forward believes he could play a part in the trip to Kidderminster who sit just two places below Chester in the table.

He said: "I'll be training again Thursday and if it's all good who knows? It depends on how I'm feeling and the managers as well but I'm not far off and I'm back running.

"I've been watching the games and it's been tough. There are no easy games in this league but as a striker I fancy myself to score in every game and I go into every game expecting to get a goal."

Asante made an immediate impression with the Chester fans with a hat trick on his debut in the 3-1 win against Darlington on December 1 with supporters relishing the former Birmingham City player's finishes which came from his left foot, right foot and head for a 'perfect' trilogy of goals.

"It was a great start," he said. "I felt confident and hungry and felt like I was going to get a goal in every game but then I picked up the knock. When you're doing that well it is extra disappointing because the fans want to see you score more goals - it was like a double blow."

Chester are looking forward to rekindling the partnership between Asante and Dudley which showed so much promise before they both suffered injuries.

"It seemed to just come naturally because we'd never played together before," said Asante. "Sometimes it's just second nature and I think he enjoyed playing with me as much I liked playing with him.

"Any team who loses six or seven players to injuries is going to feel the affect. We've been unfortunate it's happened to key players and the gaffer understands that so everyone is now looking forward to all the lads coming back. It helped having last week off as it gave everyone more time to get fit and ready for the weekend."

Asante is now determined to get back on the pitch and pay back the credit joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have shown in him by making his loan move permanent and sticking by him through his injury.

"I really enjoy playing for them and as soon as I found out they were interested in signing me I wanted to come in and show what I can do," he added. "They took a gamble on me because I was not playing at a team in the league below and a lot of managers wouldn't have touched me but they did and I want to repay that faith."