Don Making Progress

Don Hutchison is on target with his rehabilitation programme as he steps up his training.

Club doctor Ges Steinbergs says:

"His knee is looking stable and he did a little bit of work with Scotland last time they got together; they seemed impressed with him.

"He knows there is a lot of work ahead of him but at least he can see the light at the end of the tunnel as he looks to get back into first team contention.

"He has been doing some straight line running is building up gradually.

"I wouldn't like to put an exact time scale on his return but we thought seven to nine months when he originally did it and he is very much on target."

The likelihood is that he will play a reserve game later in the month.

Meanwhile, Joe Cole is fully fit after a groin strain stopped him training briefly ahead of the Arsenal game.

"He has done a lot of work in the summer," says Ges, "and his problem was an ache rather than a pill.

"His game is all about running and we didn't want him to aggravate the situation; but he is getting fitter and looks stronger every season.

"I just hope everyone gives him the chance to prove himself without putting him under pressure."

Joe did, in fact, leave the ground on Saturday with his arm in a sling, but that was described as "a precaution."