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Ricky Ravenhill and Ritchie Jones close to Bradford City return
Ricky Ravenhill is poised to hand City a midfield boost by declaring himself ready for League Two duty.
And Ritchie Jones – another pre-season casualty – is also on the comeback trail.
It is a timely double boost for Phil Parkinson as his side make the short hop to Accrington tomorrow aiming to atone for the out-of-character 4-0 drubbing at Rotherham.
Club captain Ravenhill will not be under consideration at the Crown Ground but he could be in the mix for the approaching back-to-back home games.
Ravenhill damaged his knee in the Guiseley friendly on August 1 and City first feared that he could be sidelined for up to three months.
But he has now returned to full training and is pencilled in for the reserve game at Port Vale next Wednesday.
Parkinson said: “He’s done a lot of running and in physical terms his lungs and aerobic capacity are in a good place. It’s just the first week of football but he’s looked fine.
“Ricky’s a really good player. He’s got so many qualities and leadership being one of them.
“He gives us all the things we spoke about last week and we’re obviously looking forward to his return.
“Ricky’s a good talker and he’s itching to get back. He’s done everything to get back sooner than expected, which is great for us.”
Fellow central midfielder Jones is also waiting to kick his first ball of the new campaign.
He was ruled out on the eve of the opening game at Gillingham when he turned his ankle in training and tore the ligaments. Jones had only just recovered from a troublesome hamstring.
Parkinson said: “Ritchie’s running and it looks like he can go back in training early next week. He’s been progressing really well and is getting close.
“He’s another one who is such a fit lad that it won’t take him long once he’s training again. He’s a supreme athlete.
“It will be good to get those two back and their energy in that midfield department. That’s going to be required as we progress through the season.”
The onus has been on skipper Gary Jones in the early weeks, with Nathan Doyle and Will Atkinson partnering him in the City engine room.
Parkinson admitted the free week has given 35-year-old Jone a welcome breather.
He said: “Gary’s trained every day and played every game and we want to get him fresh for tomorrow.”
However, there is a question mark over Nahki Wells, who is suffering from a hip problem that is restricting his movement. The Bermudian has seen a specialist, who has expressed concern.
City will monitor the striker over the weekend but he will face a scan on Tuesday to see the extent of his injury.