FLEETWOOD Town have received a double fitness boost as the finish line approaches in the Conference title race.
Top scorer Jamie Vardy is close to a full recovery after a chest infection and Jamie Milligan is ready to return to action.
Illness restricted Vardy to playing the final half-hour as a substitute in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Mansfield – but he was still able to net the match-clinching second goal, his 31st of the season.
The Yorkshireman barely trained last week but Mellon had positive news last night.
“Jamie is a lot better. He trained with the lads on Monday, and although he did not do everything he is well on the way to a full recovery.
“It is a massive improvement from last week. It was touch and go whether he was involved at all on Saturday but we tried to make sure we did not take liberties with him.
“We asked him whether he could play but you have to make decision sometimes because players can be too brave for their own good.”
Milligan last played over a month ago at Ebbsfleet, his only appearance since the FA Cup clash with his former club Blackpool at the start of the year.
A back problem has been the latest blow in an injury-hit season for the 32-year-old, but he is pencilled-in for a reserve team comeback against Curzon Ashton on Thursday.
Mellon added: “We’re hopeful he will come through because we all know how important Milli is to us.”
Wrexham, the only team who can now beat Town to the Blue Square Bet Premier title, will be anxious to close the nine-point gap when they play the first of their two games in hand at Darlington tonight.
*AFC Fylde can return to the top of Evo-Stik First Division North by winning their game in hand at bottom club Cammell Laird tonight.
Dave Challinor’s side head to Merseyside seeking a fourth successive win and with top scorer Richie Allen back on the goal trail – the striker’s 22nd of the season at Mossley on Saturday was his first since returning on loan from Fleetwood Town.
Victory over a side who have lost their last three will take the Coasters above Curzon Ashton on goal difference.
Three Fylde players were named in the First Division North team of the season at the Evo-Stik League awards: defender Glenn Steel and midfielders Bradley Barnes and Joe Booth.
*AFC blackpool welcome Silsden to Common Edge in the North West Counties premier tonight.