Christian Ribeiro continues comeback from hamstring injury at Scunthorpe United
IRON full-back Christian Riberio completed a first full training session today as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The former Bristol City defender has not played since the goalless draw with Shrewsbury Town a month ago, but he may well return to first-team contention in a week's time.
United signed Eddie Nolan on non-contract terms on Friday to provide cover at both left and right-back, a position in which Tom Newey has been excellent in Ribeiro's absence.
But boss Brian Laws is looking forward to seeing some competition for places, something the club have struggled with for much of the campaign.
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“Ribeiro has been training and put in his first full session today," said Laws, ahead of Carlisle United's visit to Glanford Park on Tuesday (7.45pm).
“He’s had his final scan just to make sure everything is okay and has got the all-clear, so we’re going to really push him on.
“Hopefully he’ll be involved with us fully next week.
“Damien Mozika (suffering from the same injury) is not far behind him.
“The noises we’re getting from the treatment room are very positive. Hopefully there’ll be hardly anyone in there now.
“We want competition. That’s what players thrive on, the fact they are looking over shoulders and having to perform to stay in the side.
“I don’t want them thinking that just because we’ve won a game, they are guaranteed a spot.
“If you’ve got good quality players pushing to get into the team, there’s only one outcome. It’s a win-win situation for us all."
Laws confirmed Andy Barcham had also been back in action at the club's Grove Wharf training ground and was fully recovered from the thigh problem that meant he sat out the weekend's 2-1 success against Crawley Town.
Barcham will be back in the Scunthorpe squad for the clash with the Cumbrians, a match for which the United manager today reported no new fitness concerns.
“Andy’s been training with us these last couple of days, so the encouraging thing is he should be available for us for the game," Laws insisted.
“He’s another body, another experienced body, and that gives me good options.
“The games are coming thick and fast – we’ve played four games now in 11 days – and that will take its toll on one or two players.
“That may mean I have to change things, but certainly I’m not afraid of changing a winning side."