David Artell has praised the ‘brilliant attitude’ of James Jones in his quest to return to first team action as soon as possible, but he will have to decide if this weekend’s home game against Coventry City is just a bit too soon.
Jones completed his first 60 minutes of football in ten months against Birmingham City’s U-23s on Tuesday and although he came through with no problem, Artell has to decide whether he is ready for inclusion in the squad.
Jones has not kicked a ball this season after suffering a pelvic injury in pre-season. He then suffered an untimely knee injury on his first return to training, but the Scotland Under-21 International is now fully recovered and available for selection.
The Crewe boss explained: “James’ attitude is spot on. It is brilliant. He wants to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and as a manager that is what you want to hear.
“Now I have to decide whether it is just a bit too soon for him. He has played 60 minutes in 10 months and that doesn’t necessary mean he is fit. He would argue that he could be ready to do 10, 15 maybe 20 minutes and that is a valid argument, so I will have to decide. There is an element of truth in that.
“Saying that he just has to ask George Ray how tough it is. He build up his match fitness for the 23's then played 120 minutes at Nantwich in the Cheshire Senior Cup, but still wasn’t recalled and then he is in from the start at Lincoln.
The boss added: “It was a breeze for him at 4-1 up at Lincoln, but a lot tougher at 2-0 down at Stevenage. It is tough physically and the first team pitch can be unforgiving. You have to be right on it.”