MICHAEL Collins hopes Jake Reeves' lengthy injury exile will soon be over.

The City midfielder has not played since the end of January because of a long-standing groin problem which eventually required surgery just before the end of the season.

Reeves was not ready to feature in any of the friendlies but Collins, who is likely to look for more loan cover in central midfield before the August 31 deadline, believes he is not far off now.

The City head coach said: "He has days when he feels better but you have to be careful. He's coming along nicely and I don't think he's a million miles away.

"But we're a little bit wary of putting a timescale on it at the moment. We don't want to put any extra pressure on him.

"We want to give him that time, should he need it, to come through. As soon as he's back training and playing, we don't want him to have any setbacks.

"We want him straight back into the mix so he can go full throttle to the end of the season. He's certainly making good progress."