Ben Middleton is close to making his Boston United return - just as fellow defender Lewis Gibbens appears to be ruled out for the rest of the season.
Middleton has been sidelined since mid-November after a freak gym accident saw him break a bone in his foot, but appears to be nearing availability once again.
“He started (training) this week and we’re hoping in 10-14 days he should be ready to play,” manager Craig Elliott said following Saturday’s 2-1 wn against FC United.
“We need him back. I still need to bring in a defender with Lewis and Ben both being out at the minute.
“But Ben is a good, honest lad and the best thing about Ben is he can play centre back and right back - he can cover two positions.
“We do need that cover.”
Gibbens dislocated his shoulder during last Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Spennymoor Town and could be out of action unil the summer.
His loan spell from Mansfield Town has ended, but the two clubs had agreed he could remain with Boston for the rest of the campaign.
“It looks like he’ll be out for the season. If he’s lucky he’ll be back in two months, but it’s a dislocation of his shoulder,” Elliott added.
“I’m really gutted. He’s been fantastic and gave us a lot.
“Sometimes with these young lads from Football League clubs, they’re miles off it, but this lad’s got a big future.
“He wants to defend and he gave you lovely balance.
“He was very calm and straight away I saw aspects of his game and thought ‘that’s Football League standard’.
“You never know, he might be back, that’d be a plus.”
Elliott praised Spencer Harris, who returned to the side in the absence of Gibbens and performed well against FC United’s Kurt Willoughby.
“Hes done brilliantly,” Elliott added.
“He came out the team, maybe a bit unfairly. But he’s seen off Willoughby twice.
“He’s a player I believe will go on to do well and get a good move. But we’ve kept him quiet in two matches and Spencer played in both, so fair play to him.”