Alex Kiwomya and Luke McCullough will both be like new signings for Doncaster Rovers in the new year, according to boss Darren Ferguson.
The long term absentees are in the frame to return to first team action in February.
But Ferguson says he is not prepared to take any chances with either of them.
Kiwomya, of course, IS a new signing.
But the 21-year-old forward is yet to feature since joining from Chelea in the summer after battling Guillain-Barré syndrome.
McCullough missed the majority of last season with a cruciate knee ligament injury before returning in March.
But the versatile 23-year-old has been sidelined since the summer after suffering another knee injury while on international duty with Northern Ireland and then picking up a thigh problem during his rehabilitation.
Both men have recently intensified their training but Ferguson is treating the pair with kid gloves.
“McCullough and Kiwomya are almost there but not there, if you know what I mean,” Ferguson told The Star.
“We’re not sure exactly when they’re going to be back.
“If all goes well I’m hoping that those two will be back around February, and give us the last three months.
“That’d be like two new signings, Kiwomya in particular.
“With McCullough we’ve got to be a bit more careful with him because he’s had a long, long time out. A recurrence of that injury would be a problem.
“So we take our time with him. But, again, he’s training with us. He’s been training with us two weeks now.
“With Kiwomya we’ve taken our time and it’s more about him telling us.
“The plan for him is to play at least three development games in January. If he comes through those he’ll probably be telling us he’s ready.
“We’ve got a [development] game every week so towards the end of January we’ll know more about that one.”
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