MARK Trueman expects Levi Sutton to come back with a bang – but won’t be rushing his return.

The all-action midfielder has missed City’s last two games with a calf injury he suffered in the win at Colchester.

That ended an ever-present run for Sutton since Trueman and Conor Sellars took the Valley Parade helm four months ago.

Trueman admits it is a blow to be without one of the key figures in City’s transformation over the second half of the League Two campaign.

Sutton is not likely to be out for long – and the joint boss reckons the short spell on the sidelines could work in his favour.

Trueman said: “Levi has been excellent for us but, in a way, the rest might actually work out well for him to come back fresh.

“He’s played a lot of football for us and the way that he plays is very explosive. Hopefully, we’ll get him back sooner rather than later and he can make that impact again in the team.

“He felt his calf slightly in the Colchester game. I think it’s only a grade one (tear).

“We obviously need to get Levi back but it’s one of those injuries that you can’t rush him.

“We need to make sure that he is fully recovered before he returns but it won’t be a long-term one.”

Trueman cites Elliot Watt as an example of someone benefiting from a breather following an intense run of games.

Watt bounced back strongly over the Easter weekend after being dropped to the bench against Colchester.

He scored in an impressive display in the win over Forest Green and was instrumental in the build-up to Clayton Donaldson’s equaliser at Stevenage, switching play to pick out Connor Wood to supply the cross.

“He won’t say it but I think it’s helped him physically as well as mentally,” said Trueman of the decision to leave out Watt for one game.

“We’ve lost key players at times who can do jobs in there – Callum Cooke as well who is able to go deeper and higher up the pitch.

“That would have allowed us time to rotate in this busy period. But unfortunately, that got taken out of our hands.”

With the regular central midfield partnership broken up, Anthony O’Connor has showed his versatility once again after being switched from right back to a holding role for City’s last three outings.

“We have had to find different ways,” said Trueman. “We’ve got Finn (Cousin-Dawson) back into the team and played Ant in there and I thought he did a good job for the team again at Stevenage.

“Aerially, he was fantastic and took pressure off Naz (Niall Canavan) and Paudie (O’Connor) behind him.

“We’re delighted with the way that Elliot has returned after that rest. You’d like to be able to do it with all players but we haven’t had the chance.

“You’ve seen the difference in Elliot’s performances from having that break for one game.”

Only Wood and Anthony O’Connor have started more games than Watt this season.

He said: “It's disappointing when you don't play but you've got to support the lads who are starting to go and get the job done.

“Physically I felt fine but mentally my decision-making in games like Scunthorpe away was poor. I felt as though the rest did me good.”