CITY’S walking wounded might need to wear name tags as they make a gradual return to the training pitch.

Kelvin Mellor’s reappearance signalled the first of the casualties to declare themselves fit for duty under David Hopkin.

The right back suffered a hamstring injury against old club Blackpool three weeks ago but could be back in the mix to face Bristol Rovers tomorrow.

Skipper Josh Wright is expected to be back in the fray next week – but others, like long-term absentees Jake Reeves and Alex Jones, still remain a mystery to the head coach.

Hopkin said: “I haven’t seen most of them, even in training, since I’ve been here.

“So, I’m looking forward to getting them out there and seeing what they can do.

“Josh and Kelvin have been with us and I thought both played well at Blackpool. But there are other boys that haven’t been available since I came in.

“Hopefully we’ll start getting Jake back and then a few others and it will give us all a boost, including myself.

“See where they are and if we can tweak and change a few things it gives you more options as a coach.”

Hopkin gave Eoin Doyle and Ryan McGowan a breather from Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy game against Everton under-21s.

But with 13 absentees, Hopkin has been limited with what he can do with the team during his first month at the club.

He added: “The boys who have been here last three weeks have been different class and taken everything I want on board.

“Once we get some more players, then hopefully we’ll have a strong squad to choose from.

“I’ve been delighted with the boys that have been with us because they have responded well. Everybody has seen the performances are getting better.

“When you’re down there in the table, things tend not to go for you. We’ve got to make sure we keep going.

“I’ve seen a lot of positives from things that we’ve worked on.

“You saw how strongly we finished the Doncaster game. The last 15-20 minutes I could see a lot of difference in the fitness levels.

“We want to instil that mentality to keep going.

“Keep doing that and once we get a win, I’m sure we can go on a run.”