Coyle hopeful over duo's recoveries
Bolton manager Owen Coyle believes long-term injury victims Joey O'Brien and Ricardo Gardner will both make their comebacks before the end of the season.
A succession of knee injuries has meant full-back O'Brien's last senior appearance for Bolton was in October 2008, although he did figure in pre-season last summer. Midfielder Gardner has also been plagued by a knee injury this season, restricting him to just one appearance, in a Carling Cup win at Southampton towards the end of August.
"I would hope they will both be back before the end of the season, although they have to make sure they are 100% fit before they can show everybody what they can do," said Coyle.
Both were back in a Wanderers shirt this week in a behind-closed-doors friendly victory over former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Molde.
"Joey and Ricardo played an hour of the game which is great because when you've been out for a period of time, as both lads have, there is a feeling of frustration," said Coyle.
"But when you're back on the pitch running around again with your colleagues, then it's terrific because they know they're on their way back to recovery.
"They both did very well and are progressing nicely, which augurs well, but they will know they are a number of weeks away from full fitness and we will give them all the help we can to get back."
Defender Gretar Steinsson also completed an hour of the game as he draws closer to a return after more than a month out with his own knee injury.
Jlloyd Samuel, who has not played for Bolton since a pre-season friendly with Osasuna in August due to a ruptured thigh, managed to get another workout under his belt after a reserve run out last week.