It has been a long road to recovery for Fleetwood forward Conor McAleny but he is hoping to get back in the thick of action at a familiar arena in Scunthorpe tonight.
McAleny joined the Iron on a month’s loan in March 2012 and played three games. It was his first-ever loan spell from Everton, the club he left for Fleetwood in the summer.
The 25-year-old netted twice in the opening-day win over Rotherham but picked up an ankle ligament injury a week later at Northampton. Now he says he is raring to go after a late cameo in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Rochdale.
McAleny said: “It has been a little longer than I expected but I have been working hard with the staff. The fitness coaches and the physios have been brilliant.
“It is just game by game now. I’m not as match-fit as the lads who have played 10 games in a row but I’m feeling good and just hoping to take that into a game now.
“I don’t think anybody is going to want to rush things.That is not really sensible.”
He attempted a comeback at Portsmouth last month and said: “I came on 45 minutes, felt good and it is just really unlucky the way I went over on it. I think if it had happened five games down the line my ankle would have been a lot stronger.
“We were testing it for weeks before and it was fine. It was one of those things.
“We have just taken our time with it, got things right and got a few minutes the other day, which gave me some confidence.”
Former Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander is in charge of the Iron, who have not won in four league games. And Town boss Uwe Rosler relishes the test against a team who, like themselves, lost in last season’s play-off semi-finals.
Rosler said: “Scunthorpe, with Graham, is always a special game.
“He took over a very ambitious club with a big budget last year. They expected to go up but they missed out like we missed out.
“They have started really well again and invested again. They are certainly a top-six team this season. For us it is a great game. Last year we got four points off them in two tough games. That was one of our most satisfying away performances, winning there 2-0.
“They have a bit of a wobble now but I think they have all the ingredients to cope with that and bounce back strongly. But I believe in this squad and it is all about us and how we perform.”