Constant setbacks in his recovery have been frustrating for winger Dean Bowditch says manager Karl Robinson.
The 27-year-old underwent groin surgery in July and is still on the road to regaining full fitness.
But though early indications had pointed towards an August return, he is still around three or four weeks from a return.
And Robinson admitted sitting in the treatment room was a huge cause of frustration for Bowditch.
He said: “He was finding it difficult with the setbacks he was having, and he was getting frustrated. This was an acute injury and it has taken longer than we thought.
“We gave him time off, to get away from football, he’s got his head straight and he’s back training with the boys. We’ll monitor him, but we have got a date in mind. It’ll be one of the biggest games of the season, and we might give him five or 10 minutes.”
But while Bowditch’s injury has been a slow process, Robinson said he’s pleased with the way Daniel Powell has recovered from his.
Powell suffered ankle ligament damage a week before the season kicked off, ruling him out for 10 weeks.
Powell looked in great form in pre-season before picking up the injury, and Robinson said he cannot wait to get him back.
He said: “Powelly has progressed really well. He’s three or four weeks off. He’s on the road to recovery.
“He will be a massive push for this group. Shaun Williams said to me that he thought Powell was in the form of his life in pre-season before the injury.”