Scunthorpe United say Damien Mozika at least six weeks away from first-team return
Midfielder Damien Mozika is hopeful he will be able to return to some form of training in a fortnight's time.
But Scunthorpe United boss Alan Knill says while that may be the case, a return to the first-team is likely to be a further month away.
A long-standing ankle problem forced Mozika to undergo surgery in the summer after being sidelined by the injury on three separate occasions in less than a year.
Given how much it has blighted his Iron career so far and with United enjoying an upturn in fortunes, Knill is determined not to rush the Frenchman.
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Likewise Michael Collins, who has been sidelined for the best part of a year with tendinopathy.
"Damo's said to me two weeks. I don't know if that's two weeks in French time," Knill joked. "But the sooner, the better for both him and Collins.
"If we can get them back it gives us real strong options, then I think we're well equipped to compete – hopefully we won't lose any players in that time.
"I think it's two weeks before he (Mozika) will do a little bit of running and everything else, then it's probably going to be another four weeks before he's actually in with a chance of being in the team.
"And I would think it's the same with Collins.
"When that four or six weeks comes around, that's good. It's good having players of that caliber pushing those who are in the team."
Meanwhile, Knill is trying to arrange a friendly game this week to ease skipper Paul Reid back into action.
The Scunthorpe defender was not included in Saturday's squad to face Colchester United having barely trained since given the all-clear from a scan on his damaged hand last week.
Reid has been gradually building up the strength in his right hand after having metalwork removed to correct a break suffered during the club's pre-season trip to Ireland.
"It was only because he's trained once since he got the results of his scan back," Knill said of Saturday's decision.
"We want him to play in a (friendly) game really. We're trying to get a game sorted next week for him to play either 80 or 90 minutes.
"If he comes through that, then great."