Dale Gorman’s recovery from injury is progressing well and the midfielder is targeting a return to action in Leyton Orient’s first National League game of the season against Salford City.

The 22-year-old moved to the Breyer Group Stadium earlier this summer on a two-year deal following his departure from Stevenage, but hasn’t played since late April after fracturing his ankle against Coventry City.

That game proved to be Gorman’s last appearance for Stevenage after the former Northern Ireland u21 international was ruled out for the rest of the campaign, having left the pitch on a stretcher 15 minutes from time during the game at the Ricoh Arena.

But he has been working hard with Leyton Orient’s coaching staff and his injury is progressing well, with the midfielder hoping to be fit enough for the O’s first match of the season away to newly promoted Salford.

Speaking to the Guardian Series last week, Gorman said: “I was unlucky as I got done by a bad tackle against Coventry. I’m working hard every day and my aim is to get back for the first game. I’m here every day working hard and doing as much as I can to get back for the first game hopefully.

“(Playing in pre-season) has got to be the aim as well as you have to get some minutes. It doesn’t matter how much training you do or how much running you do here, playing in a game is different. It’s a different sort of fitness and I’m hoping to get a few minutes under my belt before the season starts.”

Gorman arrives in East London with over 60 games of Football League experience under his belt, having been a regular in Stevenage’s midfield during the last three years.

Despite fracturing his ankle, the 22-year-old made 27 appearances in all competitions for the club last season, but he was released by Dino Maamria at the end of the campaign after helping Stevenage secure a 16th place finish in League 2.

Leyton Orient quickly snapped him up, with the midfielder becoming the O’s first summer signing last month, but he almost moved to East London earlier this year on loan, only for the move to be blocked by Stevenage.

Some may have raised eyebrows at the League 2 side’s decision to release Gorman at the end of his contract after he featured so regularly for the team, but the 22-year-old insisted that it was a mutual decision to part ways, with the midfielder eager for a new challenge in his career.

On his departure from the Lamex Stadium, Gorman said: “It was a bit mutual. I went down there a few months before the end of the season and said I needed a new challenge and a new chapter. The club, to be fair, agreed with me.

“It was an unlucky season for me last year. I played 27 times but I did my medial ligament in January and I then broke my ankle towards the end of the season. I missed 10/12 games. Going away on international duty, you also miss games as well.

“I was at Stevenage and I enjoyed it but sometimes you have to just do things for your career and this is the right thing I’m doing.”