Torquay United's Ryan Jarvis back in training and has a chance of travelling to Burton
Ryan Jarvis has 'an outside chance' of making a surprise return to Torquay United's squad at Burton Albion this weekend – only a month after sustaining a cracked rib and a punctured lung.
Manager Martin Ling revealed that the former Norwich City, Leyton Orient and Walsall Jarvis has resumed full training, although he admitted: "I'm very surprised to see Ryan back as quick as he is."
Jarvis, 26, scored his fifth goal of the season before being helped off the pitch and later taken to hospital after the 1-1 draw with Northampton Town at Plainmoor on December 15.
"Ryan has been doing a bit of bike riding, then he came in and did more training on Monday and he's joined in with the squad twice more this week.
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"He says he's getting no pain or problems from his ribs or his lung.
"We'll monitor how he goes – he has been out for a month – but he has an outside chance of being involved this weekend.
"It was a nasty injury, and it's got to come from him that he's OK to play.
"A fit Ryan Jarvis, in the form he was in when he was hurt, would be a boost for us."
There is more good news of United's other three casualties. A scan on Billy Bodin this week revealed no serious damage to his ankle, although he is still under treatment.
Both Ian Morris and Lloyd Macklin have been given the go-ahead to step up their rehabilitation from Achilles tendon and broken metatarsal injuries, respectively.
Ling confirmed that he would still like to bring in a forward during the January transfer window, although he added that he does not want to be rushed to do a deal this month.
"Although the January window is open, the loan market stays open until the end of March," he said.
"We have several people who can play the second-striker role, but the only player who can probably play the Rene Howe role is Ryan Jarvis.
"Tai Atieno was here last year and did it, although in a slightly different way to Rene.
"You fear Rene might get injured or reach ten bookings – he's on eight at the moment. We know how hard it was to come by Rene. That's why it's taking a bit of time to find one who can play up there now."
This week, Ling has secured youth-team prospects on professional deals. Midfielder Danny Sullivan, who is near the end of his second-year as a scholar, and defender Jake Hutchings, who is half-way through his first year, have stepped up. "We just feel that the timing is right for both of them," Ling said.