Frontman Amadou Bakayoko is on his way back as boss Ian Evatt delivered a positive injury bulletin ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sunderland.
Bakayoko won't be ready to face the joint League One leaders but former Sunderland loanee Declan John looks set to the travel to the North East after recovering from the illness which has kept the left-back out of the Wanderers’ last three games.
Defender Harry Brockbank may also return to the Bolton squad at the Stadium of Light after overcoming a calf injury he picked up in the reserves earlier this month.
“Harry and Declan have returned to full training and they’ve come through fine this week,” confirmed Evatt, whose side would move to within a point of the Black Cats with a win on Wearside.
And further reinforcements are also on the way to add to competition for places with summer signing Bakayoko – who scored on his Wanderers’ debut after arriving from Coventry City in the summer – making good progress from the calf injury that has kept him out since mid-August.
“Baka has had a good week on the grass,” added Evatt.
“He’s improving all of the time. I think he’s due to be back in training with the squad at the end of next week.
“We don’t want to rush him. It’s risk and reward with him at the moment and we will be patient and make sure he’s 100 per cent right before he returns.”
Barring any set-backs, Bakayoko could return in the middle of next month, while on-loan winger Xavier Amaechi is increasing his workload with the physios as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot sustained in pre-season.
Midfielder Andrew Tutte remains a longer term absentee but will undergo surgery on Saturday to repair the hamstring strain he sustained in the Reserves’ 3-3 draw with Accrington Stanley just over a week ago.
“He will have surgery on Saturday in London and hopefully he will return sooner rather than later,” said Evatt.
“But it’s not a quick fix. It’s 12-16 weeks.
“Andrew is a fantastic character and a very positive character and knows he has to concentre and focus his mind now on the positive things and concentrate on his rehabilitation.”