Ashington’s Martin Brittain is hoping to be back in contention for a place in Gary Middleton’s squad when the Colliers host Morpeth Town at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
Brittain has been sidelined for over a month after pulling out shortly before the midweek fixture against West Auckland with a thigh injury.
He trained last week only to pull up before the end of the session and was consequently ruled out of the Billingham Synthonia contest.
However, whilst not completely discarding his chances of a return to the fold when the Colliers travel to Carlisle on Tuesday night against league leaders Celtic Nation, the derby against Morpeth seems to be a more likely target.
Brittain, 29, said at the weekend: “It’s been a bit of a nightmare not being involved, especially as it is a niggling injury.
All I want is to return, but at the same time I know I have got to be patient.
“I failed a fitness test before the derby against Bedlington and last Tuesday had another setback at training when I pulled up as my thigh felt tight.
“It’s been swollen all week but I’m still itching to get back.
“I’ve never had this injury before and it’s been a frustrating five weeks because like most of the lads, I’m a bad spectator.
“I’ve rested the injury and although we face Celtic Nation on Tuesday, I think a more realistic target for a return would be on Saturday against Morpeth.”