Amadou Bakayoko could make his return to action for Wanderers in a fortnight, Ian Evatt has revealed.
The powerful former Coventry City front man has missed the last seven games in league and cup with a calf tear but has now returned to full training.
Evatt fears that rushing Bakayoko ahead of schedule would be a risk, but he has earmarked next month’s game at Sheffield Wednesday as a possible target, provided it goes ahead with concerns over international call-ups.
“It is risk and reward with Baka at the moment,” said the Wanderers boss. “We miss him, of course, because he gives us something completely different but the last thing that we want to do is rush him back and then lose him for a significantly longer period of time.
“He has done really well, rehabbed really well. So the Sheffield Wednesday game would be about right.
“If it is postponed then that gives him an extended period to recover and more training time to make sure he is fully up to speed. But if that doesn’t happen then we will probably target that game for him.”
Xavier Amaechi could also be back in the frame by the end of next month.
The young winger, loaned from Hamburg in the summer, has yet to make his competitive debut for the Whites having fractured his metatarsal in a pre-season friendly against Preston North End.
It was feared he could be out until Christmas, when his loan contract ends, but Evatt is upbeat about his chances of returning earlier.
“Xav is back on the Alter G, an anti-gravity treadmill, so basically you can manage body weight and load to walking or running,” he explained.
“I think he is virtually walking full tilt now on 100 per cent body weight, which is a good sign for that foot, and I think things will escalate quickly from there.
“We’re looking probably another four weeks for him before he’s ready to return.”
Andy Tutte goes in for surgery on a torn hamstring today after sustaining the injury in a Central League game against Accrington Stanley last week.
The midfielder will be out of commission until the New Year but Evatt is backing him to make a full comeback.
“Tuttey is a fantastic lad and character,” he said. “He is obviously down and disappointed, but is already talking about targeting days to come back and fixtures to come back for, which is a good sign that he’s in a positive frame of mind.
“I have no doubts that he will focus on his rehabilitation properly and do the work required to get him back as quickly as possible.
“But there’s no two ways about it and we can’t shy away that it’s a nasty, nasty injury and hopefully Saturday the surgeon will work his magic and we’ll have him back probably in 12 to 16 weeks.”