MATT Mills should be the next player to escape the treatment room at Wanderers.

The defender has been out of the reckoning since the start of December when he damaged his hamstring playing against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Mills had made 17 appearances since signing from Leicester City in the summer and has already started to train with the first team.

But Dougie Freedman says his comeback will need to be carefully managed, and after coming through his first competitive action against Bury on Monday night, the 26-year-old centre-half is down to feature for the Under-21s in upcoming games at Norwich City and at home to Reading.

“He’s fit and played 70 minutes the other night for the development squad but I just feel at this point that there is no reason to take a risk on him,” the manager said.

“It’s especially the case with a hamstring. It’s a real concern.

“But I reckon he’s one or two reserve games away from being in real contention.”