Oldham Athletic youngster Deane Smalley could be set for his first match of the season after being given the green light to step up his comeback by the Latics medical staff.
The young striker, who has come through the ranks at Boundary Park, has been out injured since damaging his back in a pre-season game against Blackpool on 1st August.
He managed 20 minutes of a training ground friendly against Bury last week and featured in Monday night’s Manchester Senior Cup victory against Bolton.
Smalley grabbed another 23 minutes of action in the 2-1 success against Wanderers and had a hand in setting up the winning goal after supplying another young gun, Ryan Brooke, with a delightful pass 11 minutes from time which allowed the ex Apprentice to fire home past Adam Bogdan in the Trotters goal.
Smalley will hope to use Monday night’s game time against an experienced Bolton side that included the likes of Nicky Hunt, Danny Shittu, Gavin McCann, Ricardo Vaz Te, Mustapha Riga and Bogdan as a catapult to step up his comeback and regain his first team place.