GARY Bowyer believes Clayton Donaldson will have a key role in the rest of City’s season.

The target man has been out for three months since damaging his foot in the last away win at Morecambe.

But Donaldson’s comeback stepped up yesterday when he was able to join in full training with the squad.

While tomorrow’s home clash with Scunthorpe will come too soon, Bowyer is excited to see the veteran striker back among the players.

The City boss said: “He got ‘meggsed’ within the first couple of minutes, which was hilarious for everybody – apart from Clayton.

“But it’s brilliant to have him back on the pitch. In the bit he joined in with, the ball went up to him and straight away he got hold of it and laid it off.

“You’re thinking, ‘yeah, that’s what he brings’ with his experience. The other lads just look up to him.

“They really respect what he’s done in the game, how he looks after himself and how he conducts himself.”

Donaldson has been a big miss in the City frontline with his hold-up play and Bowyer sees him as a crucial addition as the League Two promotion race tightens up.

“Sometimes it’s that freshness towards the end of the season that counts,” he added.

“It’s staying in and around the mix come the last little bit of the run-in and the timing with Clayton is very good for us.

“To go out now in the window and find someone of his ilk would be very difficult.”

Jamie Devitt, another long-term absentee, could feature against the Iron after four months on the sidelines with a torn hamstring tendon.

City had hoped to put on a private game for the midfielder’s benefit this week but the wet weather stopped that.

Bowyer said: “We did something different instead to physically test him even further. He came through that and goes back into the squad.”

Callum Cooke is available after recovering from the virus that also affected the manager at Crawley. Harry Pritchard has a chance of featuring after his back problem but Zeli Ismail is still out with an injured calf.

Bowyer was a team-mate of Scunthorpe boss Paul Hurst at Rotherham and believes his opposite number was hard done by to get sacked by Ipswich in the Championship.

He said: “Paul was harshly treated in my opinion. He's shown what a quality manager he is.”