GARY Bowyer will continue to put an arm round Jake Reeves on the midfielder’s long road to recovery.

Reeves is making progress in his fight to play again after 20 months out of action.

He has stepped up his work with City’s physio team in a bid to return to the first-team squad but Bowyer insists there is no deadline.

The Bantams boss said: “Jake sees that he’s making a progression now and he’s happy with how it’s been going.

“Like I’ve said from day one, there’s no pressure from me to put a timeframe on it for him.

“We just keep going because of the length of time that the lad’s been out.

“There’s a plan in place for the next week or two for him to increase what he’s been doing again.

“We have to take it step by step. Tick that week off and make sure he’s going the right way.”

Bowyer has spoken before about Reeves still having an influence around the club and he passes on advice to the likes of Danny Devine.

“We manage him and look after him but he’s a great lad to have around the place,” added Bowyer.

“Jake has got great knowledge of the game and has an influence on other people.

“Supporters obviously won’t see that but he has conversations with Danny Devine and helps him through and talks to the midfielders.

“He’s there in and around the dressing room and he’s fantastic now for us. When he comes back fit as well, he’s going to add something to the squad which is great.”

Reeves took part in the team’s photo shoot earlier in the week and Bowyer hopes that will provide another psychological lift after an absence from the pitch stretching back to January last year.

“Things like that will give him a little buzz,” he said. “Putting the kit back on will help.

“He’s gradually increasing it day by day and it’s going ever so well for him at this moment.

“But there’s no pressure from us or anything like that because of what he’s been through, poor lad.

“He’s ready when he’s ready. When that is, we won’t put a timeframe on that.

“Once he gets into the next stage, then he obviously has to join the rest of the group.

“Once he’s ticked that off for a bit then we’ll schedule games in.

“But he’s not going to be playing 45 minutes and then going straight into the squad the following week. I’m going to look after him.”

Bowyer has also been pleased with the reports from George Sykes-Kenworthy’s brief spell at Guiseley as he mulls over sending the young keeper back out on loan.

The 19-year-old returned to the Bantams after their National League North neighbours re-signed Sheffield United’s Marcus Dewhurst.

Bowyer said: “We’ve noticed the improvement George has made in the month he’s been away. (Goalkeeping coach) John Vaughan is happy with him.

“It’s a win-win situation from our point of view because he’s had a month of games. John saw areas he can develop if he has more training time with him.”

Sykes-Kenworthy played part of City’s 4-3 win at Rotherham behind closed doors on Monday.

Bowyer added: “He looked calm with the ball at his feet. He’s very good playing out from the back.

“He spilled one or two crosses but that’s all part of the game for the younger goalkeepers especially. We want him to be pushing the rest of them.

“Richard (O’Donnell) has started the season like a house on fire with his performances. George is in and amongst it learning off them as well.”