Striker Alex Kiwomya could be available for selection for Doncaster Rovers by the middle of January, Darren Ferguson has confirmed.
Kiwomya has yet to feature for Rovers since his summer move from Chelsea after contracting the rare auto-immune condition Guillain-Barré syndrome.
But after making impressive progress under the supervision of Rovers’ physio team, the 21-year-old has now started work with the fitness coaches and could be ready for full first team training in early January.
“He was out on the training ground on Thursday afternoon doing a session with the fitness coach,” Ferguson said. “He looks good, really good.
“We would hope that he starts training at the beginning of the year.
“He’s doing a mini-preseason now. He’s been handed over from the physios to the fitness coaches and he’ll spend the whole of this month doing a pre-season.
“If he gets through that then, touch wood, he’ll then be back training with us.
“If he does that then you’d be looking at seeing him in mid-January.”
There had been concerns that the Sheffield-born striker would not feature for Rovers this season due to Guillain-Barré, which can result in paralysis or death in serious cases.
But once Kiwomya returned to Cantley Park for the first stage of his return, he showed rapid physical improvement.
This however is the first time a potential timeframe has been made public over his availability, suggesting the club are confident he will soon feature.
And Ferguson says Kiwomya’s return will be a major boost for Rovers.
“That is huge,” he said. “He gives us something totally different which we’ve needed at times this season, definitely.”
Ferguson insists Kiwomya’s return will not affect his plans for the January transfer window.
Making his comeback from injury this weekend will be striker Alfie May, who has been out for almost two months with a hernia problem.
Ferguson confirmed May will be part of the squad to face Oxford United this weekend, along with Jordan Houghton who sat out Sunday’s FA Cup tie.
Matty Blair is out for at least the next fortnight with a calf injury.