Joe Wright’s surprise inclusion on the bench against Oldham Athletic was a case of needs-must for Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann.
It had been suggested the centre half would be unavailable for the next month as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury.
But McCann explained Wright is strong enough for cameos off the bench as he builds himself back up to starting matches.
“Nothing has changed on Joe,” McCann said. “He had one training session with us on Friday.
“It was needs-must with Andy Butler suspended.
“I spoke to Joe and asked him if he was happy.
“We're happy with him because he's reached match intensity, sprints in training and everything that let us know he'd be fine with what we might have needed him to do.
“The only thing he's missing is three or four U23 games but that'll come over the next two or three weeks.
“He's by no means right to start a game but if we needed him for four or five minutes to see out a game, we were happy with that.
“We'll take our time with him, but he'll need those games.”
The 23-year-old will not have the opportunity for game time when Rovers U23s visit Wigan Athletic on Tuesday.
Wright is set to receive a third and final injection in his ankle on Tuesday in the hopes it will speed up his recovery from the injury which has kept him out since early November.
McCann admits missing the trip to Wigan may cause a slight delay to Wright’s expected return.
“It puts him back a little bit but there was no other time to fit him in to get this third injection, which is going to be the last one,” he said.
“He'll have another good week's training and he'll join back in on Thursday and Friday.
“He needs a couple of games.
“We've got a game against Grimsby next week that he'll play in and then we'll see where he is after that.”
Meanwhile, Wright’s fellow defender Tom Anderson suffered an ankle injury of his own in the win over Oldham but x-rays showed no damage and he is expected to resume training on Tuesday.