Stern JohnT&T’s striker Stern John says he has not retired from international football and hopes to return to competitive action by February 2011 following a recovery from surgery.

John has been out of action for close to five months after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury which required surgery and is now undergoing rehabilitation.

John, a one-time top marksman on the national senior team, got the word from doctors in Ohio, USA last week that he is well on his way to a full recovery and can begin light training next month.

This means he could be back playing by February. He is also expected to join the Columbus Crew in a winter training camp.

Now 34, John feels he can still make a contribution to the national team and is eying a return to the national team in time for the next Concacaf Gold Cup in mid 2011.

“I haven’t retired from international football. The injury caused a bit of a setback but the doctors have reported that the recovery is on track and once I’m called upon to play then I’m definitely going to answer that call,” John said yesterday.

The former Birmingham City and Sunderland striker is aware that there are other forwards currently stepping up to the call for the “Soca Warriors” but his experience can no doubt be a key factor to the team’s future assignments against the higher ranked teams in Concacaf.

“We are at a rebuilding stage right now and you need to have that proper blend of youth and experience. I don’t expect to be starting every game or to fight down other players. It’s about putting team first but if I can help the boys improve and help the team get positive results...” John said.

John wants to see T&T get its international football status back on track in the soonest possible time.“We’ve allowed our football to drop a bit and as players we were all disappointed the way things turned out.

We should have capitalised more on what we achieved in Germany. “But that’s the past now... we simply need to get down to work and take the football back to a higher level and begin doing well against bigger oppositions especially in the Concacaf region,” John said.