PHIL Parkinson plans to sit down with Jem Karacan to discuss his Bolton Wanderers future – but insists he has not closed the door on the midfielder completely.

The former Reading man, who scored on the final day of last season to help secure promotion to the Championship, has been absent from the team-sheet since the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa on September 30.

After initially being given time off for a family bereavement Karacan found his path back into the team blocked by new signing Karl Henry. The team’s improved form then convinced Parkinson to maintain the status quo.

The 28-year-old was overlooked on Saturday in the FA Cup as Parkinson offered Derik Osede a rare start in midfield alongside Josh Vela, giving youngsters Jeff King and Jack Earing some first team exposure on the bench.

Wanderers hope to re-sign Josh Cullen on loan this week after he returned to West Ham to ease their injury problems – which further stacks the cards against Karacan’s return. But Parkinson has pledged to speak with his fringe players in the coming days to see whether they want to move on elsewhere.

“The team has been doing well in that midfield department – Henry, Pratley and Vela. Josh Cullen came in and did well too,” he said of Karacan’s absence. “If we get all those players back there are a lot of players in front of him but it can always change in football.

“I said to the lads who have been out of the team that after the cup game and when we have sorted ourselves out with the loans we’d sit down. The injuries have changed things a little bit because now we’re down on numbers again, so we need to see how Karl is this week. We know Darren will be out for more or less six weeks and we’ll see what happens with Cullen before we decide how to go forward.”

Adam Le Fondre and Filipe Morais also played a part in Wanderers’ fine run of form over Christmas.

“When you haven’t been in the team you can feel like you are in the wilderness and that there is no route back,” added Parkinson. “But we have showed over Christmas there is a way back.”