Birighitti in good spirits

“I am feeling better and just can’t wait to get the operation done so I can get back out on the pitch,” Birighitti said.

Injured Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti made a welcome return to training on Wednesday to watch on as his teammates prepared for their Round 8 clash against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.

Birighitti, who collided with the knee of Wellington Phoenix-s Jeremy Brockie in Sunday-s loss, fractured his cheekbone and will have surgery early next week.

After being in hospital following the game and recovering at home in the days since, an upbeat Birighitti was happy to be back amongst his teammates today.

“I am feeling better and just can-t wait to get the operation done so I can get back out on the pitch as soon as possible,” he told newcastlejets.com.au.

“It is obviously frustrating to get such a serious injury but I have no doubt I will come back better and stronger.”

The keeper, who was showing the obvious signs of the impact with a swollen cheek and a bruised eye, says his recovery is both a physical and mental challenge.

“I am on the sidelines for a while but I will stay amongst the team to keep me mentally strong, I think I will recover better that way,” Birighitti added.

“The more I get out and about, the quicker I will heal and hopefully I can get back sooner than I am told.”

The 21-year old has been overwhelmed by the support he has received.

“My family have been here supporting me since it happened and they will help me after my operation as well,” Birighitti said.

“My teammates have been great and showed me a lot of support, and also thank you to everyone for all the well wishes."

Birighitti's replacement Matt Nash, hopes he can make the most of the opportunity to return to the Jets. CLICK HERE to read more.