DANNY Ward has been told he can go out on loan for the last three months of the season, so long as Owen Coyle’s current strikeforce stays fit.

The highly-rated 19-year-old has had a frustrating season to date after being forced to return from a spell at Coventry City with a hernia problem in October that required surgery.

The striker has since made progress in the reserve team despite problems with his hamstring, and he suffered another minor setback in midweek when he hobbled out of the second string’s 3-2 victory over Manchester City.

Coyle has been pleased with the progress made by the former Leeds United trainee, but with first-team striker quartet Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic, Daniel Sturridge and Johan Elmander currently ahead of Ward in the queue, the manager is considering his next move.

“He has been looking sharp, as have all the kids, and all credit to John Henry,” said Coyle.

“You go and watch them now and they are exciting to watch, and that’s the hard work John is doing with them.

“Danny is exciting and a talented player.

“And if I feel, in the last couple of months of the season, it would be best served for him in the Championship to continue his development, then that’s what we will do.

“He took a knock against City but it’s too early to talk about that now.

“However, in the next couple of weeks, it’s fair to say that if I can retain all my striking options we have, then it will be fair for Danny’s development for him to continue that on loan in the Championship.”

Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies and Leeds United’s Simon Grayson have been spotted in the stands in recent weeks at reserve team games, while League One side Swindon Town – for whom Ward was a massive hit during a loan spell last season, helping them into the play-offs – have also maintained a watchful eye.