Elias Kachunga is closing in on a return to full fitness to add further to Wanderers’ impressive array of attacking options.
Kachunga has been out of action for over a month, with his last appearance coming in the Whites’ Papa John’s Trophy exit at Hartlepool at the start of January.
But the former Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town man – who hit four goals in a six-game burst in November – has recovered from a thigh injury.
And he was back training outside for the first time today (Thursday) to edge nearer a comeback.
“Kacha is back running today. He’s come through that fine, which is a real positive, so he’ll not be too long now,” confirmed manager Ian Evatt.
The return of Kachunga will further strengthen a forward department boosted by the January signings of Dion Charles, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Kieran Sadlier.
And with Dapo Afolayan and Amadou Bayakoko also still playing key roles, Evatt is getting spoiled for choice in a squad that now has major competition in all areas.
“That’s what we want and that’s how it should be at this football club,” added the Whites' boss.
“We want a squad that’s capable of challenging at the top end of this division.
“I think we’re building that now. We’ve got good options all over the pitch and when they get their opportunities they need to take them.”
Defender George Johnston will return to the Wanderers’ squad for Saturday’s trip to Oxford United after shaking off the stomach bug that kept him out of Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic.
That was Wanderers’ fifth win in six games but Evatt is set to make changes for the trip to the fifth-placed U’s as he looks to keep the Whites on a roll and in sight of the play-off places.
“We’ve got five games more left this month. We can’t keep going with the same group over and over again,” said Evatt.
“We’re a team that likes to play high-intensity football and if you have a drop-off from that because players are fatigued it can cause us problems.
“We will have to share the responsibility out and pick the right players for the right games. We’ve got huge amounts of options.”
On the long-term injury front, midfield men Lloyd Isgrove (hamstring) and Josh Sheehan (knee) have been given some time away from the club to break up their rehabilitation following surgery.
But midfielder Andrew Tutte will hopefully be able to see some action soon after hamstring surgery of his own.
“Tuttey’s hamstring has healed fine,” added Evatt. “He’s had a couple of niggles with his calf, which sometimes happens when you’ve had a long-term injury.
“He’s going for an injection and hopefully that heals it and he’s back before long.”