Chris Chantler is determined to make up for lost time by shining brightly for Kilmarnock after a nightmare injury left him looking like a burns victim.

The Manchester-born midfielder missed 10 months of action after snapping ankle ligaments while playing for former club Carlisle.

The initial injury should have kept him out for a matter of weeks but an allergic reaction and complications with infection eventually ruled him out for the best part of a year.

The 24-year-old has since had his ankle pinned back together and now, and after making 18 appearances for Killie so far, wants to start rebuilding his career.

Chantler said "I had nine or 10 months out after ankle surgery - that was probably the worst time of my life. Not just my football career but my life.

"It just affects everything and I got really down. Even when I got back I was not the same because everything was a little bit different and it took me three of four months to get back to any sort of footballing level.

"I ended up having three operations in total but there were infection problems too.

"The first op was to correct the ligaments but when I got the cast removed, all my skin had ripped off.

"There was a three-inch gash where the surgery was. I looked looked like a burns victim. There was no skin on it at all.

"I'd had an allergic reaction to something when the cast was on. I remember telling the physios at Carlisle that every time I was moving, I was sore.

"Basically what was happening was that every time I moved, bits of skin were getting ripped off.

"The scar got infected a couple of times too, which put me back as well.

"It's all right now. It doesn't look the prettiest - it's as if a shark had a little bite at it.

"But it's fine now and not causing me any issues. I'm just so glad to be back getting a run of games.

"I just want to make up for lost time and do well for Kilmarnock."

Chantler received his footballing education at Manchester City.

He signed for the club as a nine-year-old when it was still battling against Premier League mediocrity. By the time had left in search of first-team action, Sheikh Mansour's billions had transformed City into the richest club in the world.

"The year I left City was the year they won the title for the first time, so all the big-hitters like Sergio Augero, David Silva and Mario Balotelli were there," said Chantler.

"It was a crazy time. I didn't really get to play with the first-team that much but training with them and being around the training ground with them was special.

"There were a lot of big personalities and incredible footballers in that side so getting to learn off them was a privilege."

He was given his one and only City run out on the night of his 20th birthday.

It was some gift from former Etihad boss Roberto Mancini as he was handed the final four minutes of a Europa League clash with Italian giants Juventus in Turin.

But that brief taste of European action has got Chantler hungry for more.

After a bright start to the campaign, Killie have now gone seven matches without a win but Chantler believes the Rugby Park side can still fight their way back into Europa League contention.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Aberdeen, he said: "My only game for City was in 2010. I came on in the last couple of minutes against Juventus - not a bad place to start.

"I want to play as high as I can so I'd love to help Killie qualify for Europe. It looked achievable with the way we started the season but things have dipped off since.

"However, if we can get back to that early season form then there's every chance we can get back in the mix."