Former Chester defender Lewis Turner admits that being a spectator at National League North games this season has been ‘massively frustrating’.

Turner, who along with twin brother Nathan spent a season-and-a-half on loan with the Blues between 2012 and 2014, is now on the books of league rivals Farsley Celtic.

Having played an integral role in the Yorkshire club’s 2018/19 Northern Premier League-winning campaign, Turner sustained a ruptured patella tendon in February and has since been sidelined with the injury.

And after stepping up his recovery from surgery, the 26-year-old defender is desperate to return to action.

“They’ve said it’ll be between nine and 12 months before I can play again, so I’m hoping to be back just before Christmas at the earliest,” he said.

“With it being a long-term injury I don’t want to rush things. I’m cracking on with my strength work at the minute, but it’s frustrating just watching on from the stands.

“I just want to be out there, especially now we’re playing in the National League North against good sides like Chester.

“But it’s just part and parcel of football really and now it’s just a case of getting my head down in the gym and coming back fitter and stronger.”

Turner, a product of the Leeds United academy set-up, has been able to count on some fraternal support in his comeback following a similar injury to his brother, and Farsley team-mate, Nathan in September 2018.

“Funnily enough he’s done the same knee. He’s been out a little bit longer and is hoping to be back next month,” added Turner.

“It’s good to have someone alongside you in the gym, but obviously we’d both like to be out there playing.

“At least we can go to the gym together and do our strengthening stuff together before games. it’s a long old road back to recovery and if you’re on your own in the gym that can make it feel even longer.

“We’ve got each other to keep us motivated and we’re both looking to come back fitter and stronger.”

Described by Celtic boss Adam Lakeland as ‘the Northern Premier’s best full-back’ last term, Turner’s enforced absence has been keenly felt.

And while Farsley supporters eagerly await his return, Turner’s efforts in Chester colours also endeared him to the Blues faithful.

Chief among his memorable moments was scoring the winner in the 1-0 victory over Boston United that secured Neil Young’s side the 2012/13 Northern Conference title.

Turner reflects fondly on his time at the club and is pleased to see the Blues among the promotion favourites this season.

Speaking after Farsley’s recent 2-1 defeat at The Deva, he said: “I had a great time at Chester in the season-and-a-half I spent here. That first half of the season that I came in, there was a great set of lads here.

“To win the Conference North was a great experience for me coming into the club and experiencing first team football for the first time, really. Going from Leeds and getting a taste of that was great and the people at Chester - the fans, the staff - were great with me and my brother.

“Although we got relegated from the Conference the next season, spending a full season here was another great learning experience for me in terms of playing in a winning side and then in a team who struggled - it showed you both sides of the game.

“There’s been a lot of changes since then. There’s only Mahony (Craig Mahon) who’s still here.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is the following - there was another good crowd today. Everybody was friendly and saying hello and I can only wish Chester well.”

Currently 12th in the league after taking seven points from their opening five games, Farsley have made an encouraging start to life in the division.

And while survival is the club's primary concern, Turner believes that the Celtic squad can over-achieve this season.

He added: “The lads have started off well. We’ve got a great squad who’ve come on from last year after winning the league.

“First and foremost we want to make sure we’re safe. The gaffer’s said his main objective for us to stay up. But we’ll have to see where we are come Christmas time and if we’re in and around the play-offs then great and that’s something to push on for.

“But it’s more about stability and making sure we stay in this league now.Pushing on and sneaking into the play-offs might be over-achieving but we’ve got a great squad and I wouldn’t put it past us to get in there."