Luton Town’s opening Checkatrade Trophy clash with Tottenham Hotspur’s U23s is being earmarked for the return of duo Danny Hylton and James Justin.
The pair are yet to feature in pre-season after Hylton suffered a leg injury towards the back end of the last campaign, and Justin picked up a hamstring problem when training with the England U19s during the summer.
Hatters will host Spurs at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday, August 15, meaning they would only miss Town’s league games with Yeovil and Barnet, plus the Carabao Cup clash against Ipswich Town.
Boss Nathan Jones said: “They’re running fully, doing everything, they’ll integrate in training a little bit tomorrow and then start Monday.
“Then we can start building them up and it’s how quick they get up to speed.
“We won’t rush them, we envisage the Tottenham game being a potential one, but it’s a long season. So rather than force someone now and risk picking up certain muscle strains, we’ll make sure we bring them back safely and properly, so that they’re durable for the season.
“The Barnet game might be too soon for them, so if it is and they’ve got a good two weeks training under their belt, it will just be sensible not to push them into the Barnet game.
“You never know, they might excel, but we envisage the Tottenham game being the one that we may give them minutes in.
“We’re having to be careful with them, because neither of them likes to be held back.
“As you know with Danny, Danny’s a nightmare in that kind of way, but they’re very, very close, so that’s good.”
We won’t rush them, we envisage the Tottenham game being a potential one, but it’s a long season.Nathan Jones
Despite the pair being two of Luton’s stand out players last term, Jones believes his improved squad can cope in the meantime, as he added: “We’re fortunate enough we’ve got the calibre of players to replace those as they’re two big players for any side at this level and the level above.
“So we’re blessed with our squad that we can cope with those things. But for both of them as we haven’t seen either of them in pre-season, it will be like adding two fresh faces.
“I know that’s a cliche but it’s pretty true.”