Jamie O’Hara today returned to full training as he moves in sight of a full recovery from a troublesome hernia injury for which he has had three operations.
The midfielder, whose last competitive action came against Blackburn in March but also played a half of the pre-season friendly with Walsall, completed this morning’s session with the rest of the squad.
But boss Ståle Solbakken will not be rushing O’Hara, who will be targeting gradual progress to ensure he is fit and ready for first team availability.
Meanwhile Razak Boukari continues to make slow progress due to a troublesome calf problem which has seen him sidelined since being on the end of a tough challenge against Sheffield Wednesday on September 29.
“It’s good news (O’Hara) but I have to be careful about saying that because it’s going very slowly with Boukari,” said boss Ståle Solbakken.
“He can’t get rid of this pain to free him up.
“Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later but I can’t promise anything with him.
“Today’s was Jamie’s first session, but I said the same about Boukari 14 days ago.
“I hoped there would be no reaction but there was a bad one with Razak and he hasn’t trained since.
“So I won’t be saying Jamie is as good as new now because I will look stupid again.
“Hopefully he can stay injury-free but with Dave Edwards out for six to eight weeks, we’re not exactly lucky with injuries to the midfielders.
“Normally you have injuries that last two to three weeks, but every one of ours has been two to four months.”
On Boukari he continued: “Razak was going to be out for six weeks but already it’s 10 or 12.
“It’s a very rare injury that you don’t see very often – there’s very little literature about it, two to three cases in football each year.
“It’s not the biggest injury in the world but it’s a strange one.
“It’s a small muscle between two big ones and then fluid comes into this area all the time which makes it tight.
“Then you have to take the fluid out and it comes in again.
“He needs a new pre-season in a way because he’s only really played one game – Ipswich – then he got the injury in the first few minutes against Sheffield Wednesday.
“So he’s hardly played for a long time and it’s going to be a long way back for him when he is fit.”