Christopher Long and Charlie Colkett could play a part on Crewe Alexandra’s FA Cup clash with Leyton Orient on Saturday (3pm).
That’s according to manager Alex Morris, who revealed the duo are in contention to be among the substitutes for the Round One tie.
Striker Long has only managed a few minutes of action this season, due to an ankle injury. And midfielder Colkett has been missing since early August because of a hamstring strain.
However, a number of other players will remain sidelined.
Morris said: “We are hoping that Chris Long and Charlie Colkett can get some minutes from the bench if we need them.
“It’s not ideal that they’ve not played any U23s football, they’ve only just been introduced to training in the last few days.
“But they’ve had lots of pitch sessions with the physios, which are very intense.
"They won’t be able to play for longer than 20-30 minutes but, if they do, they’ll be further along the line towards the Colchester game next week.
“Colkett is further along the line than Long, but it will be pleasing to have them both back.”
He added: “Zac Williams is looking increasingly unlikely to feature because he has been unwell. Courtney Baker-Richardson (shoulder) is touch and go. Rod McDonald (hamstring) isn’t quite ready yet, while Callum Ainley (shoulder) is still some way away.”
Crewe will be aiming to progress in the FA Cup at Mornflake Stadium, but they face a tough task against high-flying Orient, who lead the way in League Two.
Morris said: “We are playing the best team in this league currently, they’ve had a terrific start, but we have to relish it and make sure we are on the front foot.
“We need to get through to the next round, and give our home support something to cheer about.
“People have said this competition has lost its spark, but I think that has been regained in recent years. We haven’t had enough cup runs over the years, so we need to get through.”