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Bradford City: James Meredith’s comeback plans are put to the test
James Meredith missed out on an emotional return to York today – but he still hopes to play a chunk of City’s run-in to the season.
The impressive left back has not played since New Year’s Day after being diagnosed with glandular fever. His absence has been keenly felt as the Bantams have slipped away in the League Two promotion race.
But after initial fears that Meredith could be sidelined long term, the Australian has taken his first steps back on the training ground and is eyeing a possible return.
He was due for further blood tests but providing they reveal no problems, City are optimistic of getting him back in action.
Assistant boss Steve Parkin said: “James is desperate to get back out there. We just need these couple of tests double-checked, then it will be whether we get the go-ahead to kick straight into normal training with him.
“He’s lean, mean and keen to get back. James says he is fit enough to go straight back into training but we’ve got to make sure that medically he’s all right.
"Hopefully we’ll get him back in the next couple of weeks.
“It will completely depend on how he reacts to training when he starts doing some really tough stuff. If his body reacts in the right way, he’ll be fine and will play the most part of ten to 12 games.”
The need to bring back Meredith is more pressing now that Ryan Dickson has been ruled out – leaving City without a recognised left back.
Parkin added: “It’s a shame for James because he’d had an outstanding season until he got the illness.
“Left backs are very hard to come by. They are at a premium and we managed to get ourselves a really good one.
“There was a nice balance down that side whoever played there. He struck up a great relationship with Will (Atkinson).
“They played very well together in lots of games and Reidy (Kyel Reid) as well in the early part of the season “We miss that balance he gave us because he’s an outstanding player at this level.”