Jack Ross says Duncan Watmore will step up his comeback from injury in an U23 fixture next week.
Watmore, who recently featured in a bounce game, is closing in on a return to competitive action.
The U23s welcome Middlesbrough a week today and Ross is hoping that will prove the perfect time for Watmore to get valuable minutes under his belt.
"He’s scheduled to play in an U23 game against Middlesbrough at the beginning of next week, and that will be another significant step forward for him," Ross said.
"Thereafter the U23s have another two games after that and the Checkatrade will then be around that time.
"He’ll play against Middlesbrough and that’ll be a big step forward for him. When we get that out the way we’ll look at when we integrate him.
"I had a long chat with him on Friday and the good thing is this week will be his sixth week of training with us," Ross said.
"That gives him a really solid platform, not just physically but psychologically, to say, ‘right I’m back’. I was keen to do that no matter what happened on a Saturday."
Ross said that the 24-year-old is desperate to get back playing and thinks he'll be a great fit in the manager's system.
"He’s desperate to be involved," Ross said.
"He’s been out a long time, he’s missed playing. I think he also likes the way we play and thinks he can be an asset within that. I think he’s excited about that. He’s very positive and I think appreciates the patience we’ve had. When he’s back the impact he’ll make will be clear."