Kightly nearing Wolves return

Midfielder closing in on full fitness

Kightly: Approaching full fitness

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Wolves boss Mick McCarthy claims a fully-fit Michael Kightly will be 'like having a new player' as the midfielder steps up his training programme.

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The former Grays schemer's first taste of Premier League football was marred by an injury-ravaged campaign after being forced onto the treatment table with ankle and knee problems for the majority of the year.

But Kightly is on the verge of putting his fitness nightmare to bed, with the start of the season less than a week away.

Wanderers' opener against Stoke City on Saturday may come too soon for the 24-year-old winger, but his boss is hopeful of being able to call upon him in the near future.

"Kightly is doing very well. He'll start stepping into training with the lads this week," said Kightly.

"He will do a couple of sessions with the football for 30 minutes.

Doyle concern

"He will be like a new player for us, because we hardly used him at all last year."

Meanwhile, McCarthy is continuing to monitor the fitness of striker Kevin Doyle who is currently with Republic of Ireland ahead of Wednesday's friendly international with Argentina.

Record signing Doyle, who top-scored with nine goals last season, missed the weekend friendly clash against Athletic Bilbao after suffering a kick to his calf against Hearts four days earlier.

Defender Ronald Zubar is already doubtful for the Stoke clash with a groin injury.