Mathieu Baudry will not be rushed into making his Doncaster Rovers debut as he nears a return to full fitness.
The centre half has yet to feature since his summer switch from Leyton Orient after suffering an Achilles injury soon after his arrival.
Baudry played around an hour in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Notts County at Cantley Park yesterday, after making his first appearance on the bench for Rovers in Saturday’s win over Newport County.
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson insists he will take the gentle approach with the Frenchman as he plots his return to competitive action.
“The next game for him, we’ll probably be looking at the Derby game in the Checkatrade Trophy [October 4],” Ferguson told The Star.
“He could, and may have to, play before then but in an ideal situation I want to get at least a couple of games into him.
“He’s short of match fitness but he’s done very well.”
Full back Frazer Richardson will be fit for Saturday’s trip to Luton Town, Ferguson revealed.
Baudry is the closest to a return of Rovers’ crop of injured players but there has been positive news on a number of others.
Ferguson said: “Craig Alcock and Niall Mason are not too far away and neither is Gary McSheffrey.
“Mason is flying. He’s ahead of time.
“He’ll be out on the grass next week hopefully.
“Alcock went for a scan on Tuesday to reassure everyone he’s ok. We’ll probably look to get him out on the grass next week.
“He had a small setback so we just hope it’s not too bad.
“McSheffrey went for another check-up on his knee which we’d always had pencilled in.
“He trained Thursday-Friday last week and it’s about getting him to the next level and certainly in the next couple of weeks we want to start getting full training weeks.
“Maybe the Derby game will be another one for him but we’ll have to wait for the results of the check-up.
“Paul Keegan played an hour against Notts County and we’ll probably pencil the Derby game in for him.
“He’s one that missed a lot of pre-season, a lot of football, so we’ve got to be patient with him.”