Jordan Houghton could be available for Doncaster Rovers this weekend after making a rapid recovery from his knee ligament damage.
The Chelsea midfielder will join up with Rovers for training on Thursday, when his half season loan will be confirmed.
While it was expected that the 21-year-old would not be available to feature for Rovers until mid-September, boss Darren Ferguson revealed he could even start in Saturday’s clash with League One’s early pacesetters.
“Jordan will be joining us early,” Ferguson told The Star. “He’ll be with us on Thursday.
“He will be available to play on Saturday.
“He is way ahead of schedule.
“Jordan is part of the plans for Saturday and we’ll see whether we start him or not.
“With him now coming in on the Thursday, obviously it’s another player in that position.”
Houghton has played 30 minute and hour long stints for Chelsea’s U23s as part of his recovery and has been deemed ready for game time with Rovers.
Ferguson was delighted with the performance in last night’s Checkatrade Trophy with Grimsby Town, from which Rovers took the penalty shootout bonus point after the tie finished 1-1.
Andy Williams grabbed the equaliser while keeper Marko Marosi made three saves in the shootout, which Rovers won 4-3.
“I’m delighted with a really good performance,” he said. “It was a really young team in the end.
“The first half I thought we were good.
“Andy scored a great goal and there was some real quality in some of our play, our quick passing was really good.
“Certainly, looking at that side, you would be thinking that club has got some good young players.
“It’s good for the future.”