Matt Taylor is not expected to make the start of City’s pre-season programme.

The former Charlton centre half, who endured a hugely frustrating first year at Valley Parade, is recovering after an operation to mend an unusual foot injury.

Taylor is now out of the protective boot he was wearing at the club’s recent awards night but physio Matt Barrass warned that his rehabilitation is a slow process.

“The start of pre-season will probably come a bit too soon for Matt,” said Barrass.

“There’s still some stuff we’ve got to do with his foot before he is fit enough to join in with the rest of them. He might be back for some of it but he’s months behind them in terms of fitness.”

Taylor damaged the plantar plate, a small supporting ligament underneath the toe, during a reserve friendly against Leeds.

City had him examined by a foot and ankle specialist, who decided he had to go under the knife to reattach it.

Barrass added: “It’s not a common injury and we had an idea how long it would be once he had the operation. But he’s a good pro and has handled the situation better than some might.

“Sometimes I have to drag him out of the gym – most you have to drag in. But Matt just puts his head down and gets on with it.”

Taylor has played only four times for City and appeared more during a successful month on loan with Colchester.

His last appearance was in December at Peterborough, when Phil Parkinson experimented with using three centre halves. But the tactic did not work and Taylor was subbed at half-time as City resorted to a conventional back four.

He suffered the injury six weeks later after playing well in a practice match at Leeds’ Thorp Arch training ground.

Meanwhile, Kyel Reid could be two months away from a return to full training.

The out-of-contract winger, whose future at City remains uncertain, has not been able to kick a ball since rupturing his cruciate against Sheffield United in January.

Barrass said: “It’s four months this week for Kyel. He has been jogging outside for a couple of weeks now and once we hit the four-and-a-half month period, we’ll start to get him to do some gradual change of direction stuff.

“We’re basically building up to the six-month point. By then, if all goes well, he should be somewhere close to being able to train properly.”