WANDERERS are considering bringing new signing Jan Kirchhoff into the squad for tomorrow’s Lancashire derby with Preston North End.

The German midfielder, who has not played competitively since December 2016 when he turned out for Sunderland against Chelsea in the Premier League, has impressed in training since signing a short-term deal with the Whites.

Phil Parkinson admits the freezing weather has made it difficult to fully assess the German star on the training ground, and plans for an in-house practice match were shelved yesterday when snow made outdoor pitches unplayable.

But the Bolton boss will seek the advice of his backroom staff today to see whether to bring the talented former Bayern Munich man in for a debut.

“Jan played on Monday for the Under-23s and did well,” Parkinson explained. “Obviously we’d have liked to see him out there on the grass with the first team a bit more but the weather hasn’t allowed it.

“He joined in the dome work today with the lads and you can see he’s obviously a very good player. A real footballer.

“It’s a close call with him whether he’s involved on Saturday because he’s eager to get out there.”

Parkinson has been boosted by the return of Reece Burke and Josh Vela to full training in the build up to tomorrow’s game.

Vela has missed the Whites’ last two outings because of an ankle injury – and Burke picked up a similar problem at Norwich last weekend.

And Parkinson thinks the local lad has the sort of fire in his belly to perform well in what is likely to be a hotly-contested game at the Macron.

“We’re really pleased to get Josh back on the training pitch. He did some work with Matt Barrass yesterday and was able to join in this morning.

“Reece took a whack on the ankle at Norwich but was able to join in too, so that’s a bonus for us.

“Sometimes when players have a little break it can freshen them up.

“You look at Antonee Robinson, who got a breather against Sunderland, then played really well against Norwich. I think Josh can be the same. He has done a lot of running for the team so maybe he needed that little breather to find his best form again.”

Meanwhile, Parkinson is keeping his fingers crossed that the weather does not put the game under threat.

“I shouldn’t think there will be any problem, the undersoil heating will kick in,” he said. “So long as the surrounding roads are alright, and I’d imagine they will be by then, it’ll be fine.”

Parkinson admits the newly-installed indoor dome at Lostock has been worth its weight in gold during the snowy weather.

“It has been very useful, today and Tuesday we’ve been in there because everywhere else was unplayable,” he said.

“It hasn’t been ideal, with the weather, but the lads’ attitude has been terrific.”