JAKE Wright is on course to give Oxford United a much-needed boost ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash at home to Northampton Town.
But the man who has deputised during the defender’s absence due to a groin injury is hoping he has given United boss Chris Wilder a selection dilemma.
After four weeks out, the U’s skipper returned to training on Monday and is expected to be named in the squad as they attempt to end a five-game winless run at the Kassam Stadium.
Wright had surgery to remove an abscess and the nature of the injury meant to begin with, he was unable to do any physical work.
The 27-year-old may not be ready to start, but first-team coach Andy Melville feels it could be close.
He said: “Jake’s trained for the last couple of days, so will be in the forefront of our minds and if there’s no reaction, I don’t think he’ll be a million miles away.”
Wright’s injury has given Michael Raynes a run in the side alongside Johnny Mullins.
After a shaky start in his first appearance, a 2-2 draw at Cheltenham, the former Scunthorpe and Rotherham centre back has performed consistently in the last three games.
The 25-year-old knows how important Wright is to the side, but feels he has made the most of his chance.
“I’ve been enjoying the opportunity while Jake’s been out,” he said. “I’m really trying to make it as hard as I can for the gaffer to make a decision when Jake’s back.
“The shirt is mine at the minute, so I’m not going to make it easy.”
While there is a decision to be made at centre half, United look certain to recall Andy Whing.
The midfielder is available again after missing the last three games through suspension.