Watford midfielder Will Hughes is nearing a return to action following surgery and months recovering.

The 25-year-old has not played since the final day of last season when the Hornets were relegated, but could feature in upcoming fixtures against Blackburn Rovers and Bournemouth, if he is deemed ready to do so by the club's medical staff.

After returning to light training with the squad last week, the former Derby County man is close to a comeback, but is taking things steady and does not want to rush into anything, with a long season still ahead.

“It's been slow but I'm making progress,” he said on the club's match day programme Hive Live. “It's all on track after I had surgery. It's been frustrating having to just watch, but I've got to make sure I'm right as it's a long season. You need a big squad to cope with a long season and I want to make sure I'm back fully and not in and out with niggly injuries.

“I started to mix with the team last week, doing the warm-up etc so it's early stages. I've got to be careful and take it slowly after surgery. I want to be 100 per cent before I resume.”

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Mentally Hughes has struggled during his time on the sidelines, as he wants to be involved as soon as he can. However, he is happy that this injury is not as bad as ones he has experienced before.

“It's difficult mentally when you are injured,” he added. “I've been through an ACL injury before and that was horrible, so I know how to cope with long-term injuries. This has been a walk in the park compared to that.

“It's frustrating not playing as I'm not a big fan of watching. Not taking part is difficult and people don't see that from the outside, especially when you aren't involved, not travelling with the team and doing longer days. I'm there every day [seeing the lads] and still seeing them but training separately.”

The midfielder is looking forward to returning and properly working with new head coach Vladimir Ivic, who has been impressed with so far.

“I've been in the odd meeting with the team and speak to him regularly,” said Hughes. “He's been brilliant. He's set out exactly what sort of football he plays so that's a good start. It will all settle down now the transfer window is closed. There has been lots of talk about certain players staying or going, so it's good it's finally over and we can crack on and know who is staying.

“It's going to be a long season, with ups and downs but we'll stick together. There are a lot of senior boys and exciting young prospects so we have a good mix.”