Port Vale have been boosted by the news that defender Gareth Owen does not require an operation on his broken left hand.
Owen, who has not played for a month, saw a specialist on Monday to determine whether a pin needed to be inserted to hold the bone together.
A scan showed that was not necessary and the 29-year-old centre-back has been given the all-clear to resume full training later this week. However, Owen will not be involved when Vale host local rivals Crewe on Saturday.
"Gareth has seen the specialist again and his hand doesn't need an operation at this stage," said manager Micky Adams. "He's going to join in with the rest of the group this week to see what he can do.
"The obvious problem he'll have is if he falls on his hand or if the ball hits it. Any sort of break is going to take time to heal, but he should be fit and available again soon.
"The good thing about Gareth's injury is that he can still do all of the running."