MARC Tierney has had an operation which the club hope will save his Wanderers career.

The unlucky full-back, who has played just nine times since signing on a free transfer from Norwich City 18 months ago, has sought specialist advice in the US as he looks to battle back from a fractured ankle.

It had been hoped that the tough-tackling 29-year-old could be ready for the New Year after undergoing surgery in pre-season to remove screws inserted to stablise the original injury, sustained in a challenge with Shane Duffy, now of Blackburn Rovers, but then of Yeovil Town.

But further complications with scar tissue around the ankle meant Tierney was never able to return to full training because he could not regain full mobility.

Now the club hope his most recent operation, revealed by manager Neil Lennon at the end of last week, can see the Prestwich-born defender return to training once his period of active rehabilitation has been completed.

“I think the operation went okay,” said Lennon, “ but obviously he is still going to be long term.”

Wanderers’ medical staff have praised Tierney’s resolve during his 14-month lay-off and backed him to make a recovery despite the complications that have naturally left the full-back frustrated.

Tim Ream has seized control of the left-back slot in Tierney’s absence, following a failed experiment with Alex Baptiste last season and a poor start to life at the Macron Stadium for Dean Moxey.

The American had been billed as a centre-half through the majority of his career with Wanderers and beyond – but has also been backed in the position by Neil Lennon since he took over the reins from Dougie Freedman last month.

His displays deputising throughout much of last season earned him both the club's and fans' player of the year awards in May.

Meanwhile, boss Lennon is looking to balance out Wanderers’ form, after feeling his side dropped two points at Blackpool on Saturday.

The Whites have won just one of nine games away from home this season but head into a home clash against Huddersfield Town this weekend in confident mood.

However, the Northern Irishman will not accept poor performances on the road and is demanding an improvement on what he saw early on at Bloomfield Road.

“It’s seven points out of nine, which is good, but I don’t want us to just be a home team,” he said.

“I want to start putting wins on the board away from home if we’re realistically going to get up the table.

“To do that we’ll need to play a lot better than the first 25 minutes of the first half on Saturday, that’s for sure.”