Bolton Wanderers’ on-loan Preston defender Josh Earl is close to a return from injury, a report from the Lancashire Evening Post has claimed.
Earl joined Bolton on-loan until January during the summer transfer window, but it is a move that has so far been a frustrating one for the 20-year-old, who was limped off through injury 15 minutes into his debut against Wycombe with ankle ligament damage.
The defender has yet to feature for Bolton since then, although it now appears as though that could be close to changing, with the latest reports claiming that Earl has returned to training as he bids to make it back to full fitness.
Since Earl made his solitary appearance for Wanderers, Keith Hill has taken over from Phil Parkinson as manager of the League One strugglers, and it is thought that Hill has been impressed with what he has seen of Earl so far in training, with the Bolton boss said to be ready to use him at centre back as well as left-back.
That is something that could be beneficial to Earl’s hopes of enjoying some game time at Bolton, with Adam Chicksen having established himself in that left-back spot since arriving on the final day of the summer transfer window.
Bolton, who remain rooted to the foot of League One following their 12-point deduction for entering administration at the end of last season, are next in action when they host Rochdale at The University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
I think this is a big boost for Bolton.
Keith Hill has spoken recently about not being able to rotate his squad despite their busy schedule, due to a lack of options, so this will at least give him one more position he can alternate in.
Earl had shown previously during his time at Preston that he is capable of competing at Championship level, so Hill should have no qualms about throwing him back into the starting lineup at Bolton once he gets back to fitness.
Having fallen down the pecking at Preston prior to his move to Bolton, you imagine Earl will be more than relieved at being close to a return to action with the League One side.