Carlisle United manager Keith Millen plans a closed-doors practice match next week to assess the progress of recent absentees.
In particular, Zach Clough and Lewis Alessandra have been working their way back from injury setbacks.
Millen said: “That will allow me to check on the fitness of the likes of Zach, and some who haven’t played as much, and hopefully Lewi might be okay for that.
“Josh Dixon is another who is progressing. He’s been training, he’s had a few little setbacks, a bit of swelling at times, so he’s had to come out of training.
“It’s just trying to get some consistency to his weekly load that we’re trying to work out, how hard he can train every day. That’s where we are.”
Gime Toure latest
He also had an update on long-term absentee Gime Toure who has also had to contend with a bout of Covid.
Millen said: “He’s developing well. I think the surgery went well, but you’re still certainly looking at weeks before he gets anywhere near training.
“I’m not sure the medical term for what he has but it was a groin problem that needed some sort of surgery.
“When they did the surgery they were pleased – it wasn’t as bad as they first thought, so the length of time he’ll be out will be shorter than was expected.”
Bounce game, what’s that?
The manager went on to say that when staff had suggested a “bounce game” next week he hadn’t a clue what they meant.
He explained: “It’s funny because ‘bounce game’ is a term I hadn’t heard until I got here. I’ve never come across them being called that before.”
There is also the possibility of fitting in a reserve game, and United do have an outstanding fixture with Morecambe to rearrange.
Millen went on: “We’ve had a lot of discussions on trying to fit fixtures in. The only good thing about us losing on Tuesday is that we don’t have an extra midweek game to fit in at the end of the month.
“I’m gutted to be out, but it frees up the last Tuesday in January. We want to try and stay clear of a constant run of Saturday-Tuesday games if we can.
“It was looking like we would have nine or ten weeks on the spin at one point, but we’re trying to arrange the fixtures where we have a free midweek in the middle so we can recover.
“Playing that amount of fixtures so close together is tough for anybody, physically and mentally. Hopefully, we don’t have other games postponed, most teams seem to be playing this weekend, and we’re looking okay at the moment.”