Garry Thompson is leaner and meaner for his first City action in 2013.

The winger is ready to return to the squad after recovering from the knee injury which has ruled him out of all four games so far this month.

Phil Parkinson cannot wait to have a fit-again Thompson back in the reckoning after the 32-year-old was beginning to reveal his true form.

Thompson became an instant Valley Parade hero when he scored against Arsenal and followed it up with another volley past Accrington on Boxing Day – City’s last league win.

After an indifferent start to his Bantams career, Thompson is justifying his summer capture – and Parkinson puts that down to an improved fitness regime.

The City chief said: “I’m really pleased with Garry. He’s really worked hard on his fitness throughout the season.

“He’s trimmed up in terms of his weight and his body fat and everything we’ve asked him to do he’s done.

“He maybe found it a bit difficult when he came in at first after having a disjointed season last year. But he’s a very good professional and I think he’s been tremendous – he’s a very good professional.”

Thompson’s goal against Accrington was his third – and first in the league after scoring twice in City’s incredible Capital One Cup run. He had opened his account with the stoppage-time winner at Watford in the second round in August.

Parkinson said: “Garry’s been a big loss for us because he was playing really well and looked like scoring.

“He’s a great finisher and a clean striker of the ball with both feet. His heading ability is also very good and I’m sure there’s more to come from him.

“He’s really found that confidence in front of goal and he’ll pick that up again no problem.”

City’s trip to leaders Port Vale on Saturday is under threat because of the current freezing weather.

Vale’s FA Youth Cup tie with Everton was called off because of a frozen pitch and, with temperatures set to drop well below freezing, they face a battle to make the surface playable.

Assistant boss Mark Grew said: “The groundsman is doing everything he can but the covers that are on there were frozen and we couldn’t get them off.

“Once you get frost into the ground, the covers will keep it in there. We’re hoping for the best.”