JERMAINE Beckford has finally been given the green light for a Wanderers return, just in time to feature against former club Leeds United on Saturday.
But as Dougie Freedman counted one of his first-teamers back in, he counted another out with the confirmation that Darren Pratley will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his shoulder.
The midfielder dislocated his shoulder in the 2-0 win over Watford and is understood to have damaged screws that had been inserted in a previous injury.
Freedman has been without top scorer Beckford since watching him hobble off against Nottingham Forest on January 11 with a hamstring injury.
The Whites boss revealed last week that the striker had made a number of aborted comeback attempts but had missed the 4-0 win over Blackburn Rovers through illness.
Now, 54 days since his last appearance, the ex-Elland Road favourite has been given the thumbs up by Wanderers’ medical staff and is likely to make the bench this Saturday.
In-form strikers Lukas Jutkiewicz and Joe Mason are undoubtedly favourites to start against Leeds but with seven goals in his last 14 appearances, Beckford’s presence would prove a massive boost for Freedman, whose rejuvenated side go in search of their third straight win.
Beckford made his name at Leeds in a prolific spell between 2006 and 2010, where he scored an incredible 85 goals in 152 games before leaving to play Premier League football with Everton.
His most famous strike came against Manchester United in 2010, as the then-League One club dumped the Red Devils out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage.