Bulls star Lee Gaskell says he is “80 per cent confident” of being passed fit for Friday’s crucial home Super League clash with Salford.

The close-season signing from St Helens has made steady progress in his recovery from a knee injury sustained at Wakefield on February 20.

He now looks certain to face the Red Devils, with whom he enjoyed a successful loan spell last season.

“I’m 80 per cent confident I’ll be playing on Friday and it’ll be good to come up against some of my old friends,” said Gaskell.

“I really pushed on with my rehab’ last week, doing a lot of agility and speed, and it’s gone very well. Hopefully I can push on again and we can kick on with a win on Friday.”

The return of the stand-off is another major boost to head coach Francis Cummins, who also has Anthony Mullally, Danny Bridge and Tom Olbison available again.

Gaskell was offered the opportunity to join Salford on a permanent deal at the end of last season but he declined.

The 23-year-old explained: “I enjoyed it there and it was a good time in my career. I got plenty of game-time and I can’t thank the people there enough for the opportunity they gave me.

“I played full back in most of the games but I just enjoyed my rugby, to be honest. It was a good team spirit, although we would have liked to have won more games than we did.

“I needed a bit of space to just enjoy my rugby again and going to Salford brought the best out of me. The games that I played I played consistently well in and that is what I needed.

“Brian Noble wanted me to stay there but when Franny came along with a good offer and I met up with him, it sounded like Bradford were going places. I just wanted to be a part of what was going on here.

“I’ve played little more than one game after getting injured early on at Wakey, so it will be good to get back out there with the boys.”

Salford have struggled for consistency this season and have replaced Noble as head coach with Iestyn Harris.

Gaskell said: “It takes time to gel with so many new players but I think they will come good sooner rather than later.

“As for ourselves, if we play like did in the second half at Widnes every week, then I don’t think we will be too far away."