Fleetwood assistant boss Rob Kelly says Town aren’t rushing Bobby Grant’s comeback to ensure the midfielder is fully fit for the vital games ahead.
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Grant is set to increase his minutes this week as Fleetwood continue to manage his return from a knee injury.
He started the Checkatrade Trophy tie at Bury a fortnight ago and came off the bench in last week’s FA Cup replay at Leicester.
But Grant has not featured in a League One game since Town visited Blackburn in October.
He was not in the squad for last Saturday’s return match with Rovers, having been an unused substitute at Southend the previous weekend.
It is understood that Grant would have featured had Town’s Checkatrade quarter-final at Yeovil taken place last night as originally scheduled.
That tie will now be played on February 6 but Grant will still get some much-needed minutes under his belt today in a behind-closed-doors friendly at a Championship club.
Uwe Rosler’s number two Kelly revealed that Grant is fit but Town have so far opted to give him more time on the training ground rather than small cameos in league games.
The assistant head coach explained: “Bobby is still working his way back to full fitness.
“We managed to get an hour into him at Bury and we put him on against Leicester.
“The Yeovil game was his next one to get him up to speed.
“We just thought that against Blackburn we needed options on the bench.
“He is not quite up to full match speed really. If we had needed to put him on after 10 minutes, we did not think physically he could do that amount of time.
“We are playing a little bit of the long game (with him). We have a lot of games still to go and Bobby will be very important to us.
“We need to get him back up to speed the best way and give ourselves a chance to actually put a couple of conditioning days into him.
“If he had been on the bench on Saturday, he would not have done very much on Thursday or Friday.
“Then he might not have been used on Saturday and had recovery on Sunday, so he would have missed four days. He cannot afford that at the moment as he is working his way back.”
One man who has made a solid return from injury this time is forward Conor McAleny, who marked his third return this season from ankle trouble with Town’s goal against Blackburn.