David Artell says that defender George Ray is close to a possible return to first-team action after again naming him on the substitutes’ bench for the trip to Notts County. Ray was back up to Crewe’s three centre-halves but didn’t make his long awaited return in the defeat.
The former Wales Under-21 International has not featured for the first team since Easter last year after he suffered a fracture in his lower back away at Yeovil. It has been a long road back, but boss Artell says the highly-rated defender has overcome the psychological aspect that accompanies every long-term injury.
Artell told us: “George has been out for almost 12 months now and it is never easy coping with that.
“When you are out injured for such a long time you are going to have those dark times and it is not nice. It tests you mentally as much as physically to get back.
“George had one or two set-backs along the way but he has worked hard to get back and overcome whatever crops up in the mind. Now the challenge is for him to make that step back on the pitch. He is always good around the dressing room and he has developed into one of our leaders.”