KIERAN Lee should be back in the first team plans at Wanderers by the end of March.

Ian Evatt has confirmed that his experienced midfielder underwent a successful surgical procedure on a bone spur on his heel, which had been causing him problems over the last few weeks.

It had been feared that Lee could be out for months if he had to have an operation but Evatt is optimistic that his time on the side-lined will be relatively brief.

“As I understand it everything is okay,” he said. “Everything was what we deemed to be normal with what we saw on the scans, so I would think he’ll be back by the end of March.”

Wanderers do not expect Declan John to miss Saturday’s game at MK Dons despite him being withdrawn at half time in Tuesday night’s win against Lincoln City.

“Declan is just a small back spasm,” Evatt explained. “I don’t think they are big issues. I think we will get him to see a chiropractor and it will settle really quickly.”

Evatt admitted that his side showed some signs of fatigue in the first half against Lincoln before a handful of substitutions helped to get them back on track.

Michael Appleton’s Imps have struggled for consistency this year but have beaten the likes of Plymouth, Sunderland and Wigan away from home.

The significance of the victory, argued the Bolton boss, should not be underestimated.

“When you score three at home and we are talking about not being at our best, it’s great,” he said. “We have to remember Lincoln were in the play-offs and we are a newly promoted team. That as how far we’ve come in a short space of time.

“I do think they are a really good team. I think they are really well coached. I said before that Michael is a manager I rate extremely highly. I worked with him and he’s one of the best that I worked with.

“His tactical understanding, his understanding of the game and the way he goes about his work with detail is exceptional, so I knew that it was going to be really tough, but the boys found a way which is great.”

Amadou Bakayoko also got to 10 goals for the season, continuing his fine run of scoring form since coming back from injury.

Evatt says the former Coventry striker exemplified the sort of attitude he has been asking for from players who have not been named in the starting line-up.

“He is scoring regularly but what I must say is that the group in general have really bought into the rotation policy,” he said.

“I think we have needed to do it this month and sometimes I have got it right and sometimes I’ve got it wrong. Arguably I got it wrong at Burton but there have been no complaints, there has been no sulking.

“The players have been really supportive, really helping the team and team-mates and supporting the ones that are getting the chances. And, fundamentally for the whole month, when they have been given a chance, they have taken it, all of them.

“That’s great for them but I should also give a special mention to the ones that are not involved at the moment, and not getting on the pitch, or involved in matchday squads. They are just as important.

“Any squad is only as good as the ones out of the team, it is easy to keep the 11 happy, it is easy to keep the ones coming off the bench happy. What is really difficult is keeping the ones sat on the side happy, motivated and supportive.

“But I have to say their attitude has been first class, so I’m delighted with them as well.”