David Artell says it is still ‘very early days’ for midfielder Tom Lowery, after he made his long awaited return to the Crewe Alexandra squad in the 2-0 win over the MK Dons on Saturday.
Lowery was an unused substitute and is now expected to have some involvement against Newcastle’s Under-21 in the Checkatrade Trophy tomorrow night – but the Alex boss is understandably being cautious with his youngster.
Lowery completed 45 minutes for the first time since January, in the club’s Under-23 fixture at Birmingham last week. He underwent a hernia operation to rectify the injury before returning to pre-season training earlier than expected.
Artell told crewealex.net: “It is still early days for Tom and I don’t want the fans to think he is back now and capable of playing 90 minutes, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday because he was on the bench.
“It was great to have him back and I did it because I thought if the game needed changing in the last 20 minutes then he could be a useful addition. As it happened we didn’t need him.
“I will be cautious with him because he hasn’t had much of a pre-season. I don’t want to push him back too early and lose him again in 3-4 weeks’ time. I don’t want to get in that cycle with him. I want him back playing the games when he is totally ready.
“I would much prefer for him to have him back and for him to complete the rest of the season that have that stop-start problem but I am sure he will get more minutes against Newcastle tomorrow night and it will be a gradual build up for him.”