GREG Abbott hopes his fight against prostate cancer will encourage others to get themselves checked.

City’s head of recruitment is making a phased return to work after undergoing surgery just over five weeks ago.

The 54-year-old praised the fantastic efforts of the staff at the Bradford Royal Infirmary for getting him back on his feet.

“I’m really grateful to the hospital,” he said. “We get wrapped up in the importance of football but those guys are sensational.

“We’re trying to find players to win us the league but they are doing operations to save lives. They are an absolute credit.

“We had a longer operation than normal because of the size of the prostate and the recovery period was going to be extended. But surgically, everything has gone great – it’s just taken a bit longer.

“I went back on Monday for my cancer reading and it looks like they have got it all. You can never take this for granted but the reading is where they wanted it to be.

“That’s fantastic and now I’ve just got to deal with the recuperation. I’m keen as anything to get back to full fitness and everything that comes with it.”

Abbott revealed that the diagnosis had come as a complete shock after he initially went for in a check-up complaining of headaches and tiredness.

“It was more like a MOT than anything else. At 54, it’s really quite early.

“But it showed up and I had to go for further tests and then had it done.

“Hopefully if we get rid of it now and I’m able to live happily ever after then it’s been a massive success.

“I spoke to Brian Deane, a great old friend of mine in football, and he said it urged him to go and get it done.

“That’s what it’s for. The message is the same to anyone of a certain age to go and get yourself checked.

“It’s half an hour of your life that might add on years and years.

“Football is a great vehicle for getting messages across because we’re a global industry.

“This is to do with life and everybody out there who should go and get checked.

“I’m not a preacher but I do like to give good advice. If you have to go through this, get it done and out the way.”

Abbott admits he has had to rein himself in as he gets back into the daily business at Valley Parade and working with chairman Edin Rahic on the club’s recruitment plans.

“I do as much as is possible,” he added. “I make a lot of phone calls and I can help and talk.

“My brain is working – a lot of people would say that isn’t a great thing – but I’ve been talking to lots of people at the club and obviously potential players.

“Things are still moving, it’s not stopped.

“Edin has been a great help because I’m not as mobile as I need to be and together the target process is ongoing to fit in with the strategy.

“I’m still a bit wary that I’ve got a two-year period when the cancer could return. You don’t take anything for granted.

“But they’ve done what they can and have done it successfully.”

Meanwhile, City keeper Colin Doyle is in the Ireland squad for their two friendlies against France and USA next week.