Luton boss will take a cautious approach over Rea's comeback
Luton boss Graeme Jones will proceed with caution when it comes to reintegrating Glen Rea back into the first team fray.
The 25-year-old last played a competitive match for the Hatters back in December when he injured his cruciate ligaments in the 2-0 win over Burton Albion.
He has been back in training recently though, with footage of him taking part in a practice match posted by Town physiotherapist Simon Parsell last week.
Although Rea himself wants to be back as soon as possible, Jones won’t be rushing the former Brighton player, as he said: “Glen doesn’t think so, Glen thinks he can play tomorrow!
“Obviously we’re being a bit cautious, making sure that he’s nine months as we didn’t want to take any risks.
“The last thing you want to say is he’s fit at seven months and then he gets injured and is back to square one.
“I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen with Glen, the frustration I’ve got now is where does he play football to get fit?
“Because we’ve got no reserve team, that’s the truth, that’s where we are.
“We’re looking to get stronger as a football club, so I’ve got that to consider, but for now, he needs a good period of training anyway.”
On how he got on during the in-house game, Jones continued: “He played in a 60 minutes ball in play in a practice match on Thursday and was really, real impressive.
“He played in different positions and coped with it, no problem.
“I think he’s a tremendous professional, he looks after himself, he’s got no fat on him, he’s been really, really impressive.
“But I don’t care who you are, you’ve been out nine months, you might be okay for a game full of adrenaline, but you need a consistent period of training and games in order to become robust, to meet the demands of the Championship.”
One player who Jones does expect to have available for the weekend's home clash with Bristol City is defender Martin Cranie, who hasn't played since the 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on August 20 though.
He added: "Martin’s been out eight weeks, but he’s played the last three.
"He played 60 minutes in the ball-in-play, in house game last Thursday, so he’s physically fit.
"He's had far less of a period out than Glen Rea’s had, so we're pleased with where he is."