ASHLEY Chambers is back in York City’s squad for tomorrow’s League Two clash at Wycombe Wanderers.
But centre-back David McGurk will not travel to Buckinghamshire after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring injury in training.
Chambers was the Minstermen’s eight-goal top scorer prior to picking up a stomach problem during the 4-1 home win over Bristol Rovers in mid-December.
He bagged a brace in that match, but the 22-year-old has not featured since, with the team winning only once during his eight-game absence.
While he is unlikely to start at Adams Park, it is hoped that Chambers’ presence on the bench can inspire the visitors to a better attacking performance.
City assistant manager Darron Gee, pictured, filling in for an unwell Gary Mills at the pre-match press conference, confirmed: “Ashley Chambers is travelling with us to Wycombe.
“He’s available for selection and has trained hard and done really well this week. He possibly won’t start and is more likely to come off the bench because he’s been out injured for a while and you don’t want to throw players back in straight away, but we’ve been really pleased with how quickly he’s come back and he’s looking sharp.
“Having him back will give everybody a lift. It will send out a message to the other players that he’s ready to come back and there’s nothing better than somebody pushing for your place.”
McGurk had been expected to be in contention for a recall after making the bench for last weekend’s 4-1 home defeat to Morecambe.
The former Darlington defender had missed the previous game with a hamstring pull and has now aggravated that problem, with Gee adding: “Dave McGurk has had to go for a scan so he won’t be involved.
“He maybe tried to come back too soon because he’s been frustrated with the lack of football he’s had, but it’s not helped that the training ground has been so heavy either.” Long-term injury victim Michael Coulson, meanwhile, is targeting the trip to Torquay in five weeks’ time for his comeback from cruciate knee ligament damage.
The five-goal former Grimsby forward has been sidelined since October but Gee revealed: “Michael Coulson is coming on in leaps and bounds.
“Both him and Ash Chambers have been missed as they scored a lot of our goals earlier in the season. We are looking at the Torquay game for Couls and that’s a great goal for him to strive for.
“We don’t want to push him too hard but he’s been straight-line running this week and his progress has been excellent.”
Gee is backing fellow forward Matty Blair, meanwhile, to emerge from his current lean spell in front of goal.
Blair, the team’s 20-goal leading marksman last term, has netted just once in his last 19 appearances but Gee added: “It’s hard to put your finger on why the goals have stopped going in for him.
“He still comes in every day with a smile on his face and is the butt of most jokes with his outfits. His willingness is there for all to see. It’s just about getting through this patch.
“We are encouraging the players to get their shots off because, then, one might just bobble in. Sometimes, we have a tendency to try too hard to score the perfect goal and we don’t get many scruffy ones.
“I’m sure if Blairy continues to train and work hard, it will eventually turn around for him but the good thing is nothing fazes him. He gets frustrated but I’m sure he won’t know how many games he’s gone without scoring.”
Gee also reckons goalkeeper Michael Ingham will come back stronger from his costly mistake against Morecambe.
The shot-stopper racked up his 99th clean sheet for the club three games ago but is still waiting to make it to three figures.
“I know Michael’s disappointed not to have got to 100 yet and I know he’s strong enough to come through what happened on Saturday,” Gee insisted. “In fact, I think that can inspire him to reach that landmark.”