GARY MILLS may throw centre-back David McGurk into the starting line up for the first time in almost a year when York City entertain Torquay in League Two tomorrow.

The 30-year-old hasn’t played since limping out of the Minstermen’s 2-2 draw with Mansfield Town in the Blue Square Premier on New Year’s Day – having suffered calf and knee injuries along with a throat problem.

But with Chris Smith having been laid low by a virus, the former Darlington defender, who has spent recent matches on the bench, may get a chance to press his claims for a shirt should the skipper not recover in time to lead out York against the Gulls at Bootham Crescent.

Mills said he wouldn’t have any qualms about fielding McGurk, nicknamed TY, although with Scott Kerr back having served a one-match ban for being sent off in the FA Cup first-round replay at AFC Wimbledon, the City chief has a number of options.

Daniel Parslow could drop back from the anchoring midfield berth he occupied at Port Vale into his favourite position, while other possibles include both Jamal Fyfield and Lanre Oyebanjo partnering Chris Doig.

“No, he won’t go out,” said Mills when asked if a loan move was still planned for McGurk following the sudden departure of Clarke Carlisle to Northampton earlier this week.

“I am disappointed that he didn’t go out a few weeks ago to get half a dozen games under his belt and for his fitness. That hasn’t happened.

“Chris Smith hasn’t trained. He has gone down with a virus. Things happens and he (McGurk) might just be thrown in on Saturday if Smudger is not available. He needs match fitness. If Chris Smith is still ill on Saturday then my options are Dan Parslow dropping back there or TY. They are the obvious ones.

“Lanre (Oyebanjo) can play there. He played most of his games for Histon there. But certainly, TY has got to start playing sooner or later.

“It is a test for him. He had the opportunity to go out and play a couple of leagues lower and get a bit fitter and didn’t take that. Maybe now he wishes he did.”

Mills drew a line under the Carlisle affair – arguing York were still well served with defenders – and he decided not to bolster his squad ahead of the closure of the loan window last night.

“I made a couple of inquiries,” Mills added. “There were a couple of players that, if I could have brought them in, I would have liked to. They are too close to their first team. I just don’t want to bring in, and I have said this before, just anyone for the sake of it.

“It has got to be someone better than what I have got. I have tried a couple knowing that maybe I was going to get knocked back – and that’s what happened.”

Lee Bullock’s loan period with Gateshead is due to expire tomorrow and Mills added he would speak with Heed boss Ian Bogie to discuss the future for the former Bradford player. “It’s a little bit different because he is there on loan already so we don’t have to make a decision until after Saturday.

“I’ll be speaking with Ian Bogie over the next 24 hours. I get on great with Ian and we will see what’s going to happen with that.”