The Imps may be handed an injury boost ahead of this weekends clash with high flying Dagenham & Redbridge, with Stefan Oakes looking as though he’ll be fit for the clash.
Oakes was much maligned last season, and by his won admission won few friends. However the first four games of this season have seen him sparkle, although he missed the Burton Albion defeat with a foot injury. Lennell John Lewis took his place and failed to impress. Now Oakes is ready to return to the fold and fire City onto nine points.
"My foot is a lot better than what it was, because it was extremely painful," said Oakes.
He was injured after former Imps target Gareth Evans caught him late in the 2-0 win at Bradford last week.
"Evans didn't mean to do it; he just caught me as I was hooking the ball over my shoulder.
"It didn't help that I needed the stitches doing twice because the doctor at Bradford had not done them correctly.”
However with a days training under his belt, he is most likely to return from the injured stars.
Another injured player is Captain Scott Kerr. Kerr picked up an injury on the pre season training camp in Germany, but came back for the Accrington clash. However clearly struggling he was withdrawn from the action on 45 minutes, and also missed the Burton game. Kerr came through the reserve game against Bradford in the week, and is now likely to make the bench for Saturdays clash.
Paul Connor impressed in the first three games for City, but picked up a thigh strain against Barnsley and has since not featured for the club. He looked to be forming a decent partnership with Rene Howe until the injury took hold. What chance of him making Saturdays game? Very little sadly, Connor is expected to resume full training today, but may just miss out on Saturday’s squad. Perhaps a Johnstones Paint Trophy outing against Darlington on Tuesday might be his best bet of a return.
One player definitely not making the squad is Notts Forest loanee Joe Heath. He picked up a hip injury and played through the pain barrier at Accrington Stanley, but it now appears he may have to go back to Forest for assessment.
Heath was clearly not impressed at picking up the injury this early into his City career.
"Before this hip problem, the worst injury I'd ever had was a back strain which ruled me out for a week, I played on the injury against Accrington and I think it has made it worse.”
"The Nottingham Forest physiotherapist telephoned me to say he'd noticed I wasn't playing, so he invited me back there and I went back on Sunday. I was told that if I had rested it (the injury) immediately I would have been out for about three weeks but now I might be out for longer – but they are sending me for a scan to find out."
Heath is clearly a big loss for City who don’t have an orthodox left back in the side to replace him. Aaron Brown has dropped in at full back, but is far more effective further up the field.
Finally Paul Green is still ruled out with his own hip injury, and is not expected back until Christmas.