YORK City boss Chris Brass expects to choose from a virtually fully-fit squad when his side return from their two-week break.

Brass believes that only Leigh Wood will be out of action when City entertain bottom club Carlisle United on January 10 with strikers Jon Parkin (hamstring) and Liam George (calf) likely to shake off their injuries and long-term victims Stuart Wise and Lev Yalcin continuing their successful rehabilitation.

Wood will be sidelined until the end of January after his shoulder operation and Yalcin will not be risked until he has been nursed back with a handful of reserve games but Brass should otherwise be able to select any member of his squad for the visit of the Cumbrians.

City are without a match this weekend because scheduled opponents Southend United have reached the third round of the FA Cup.

But Brass is happy to have the 13-day break after a busy Christmas period of three matches in a week.

He said: "I have given the lads a couple of days off this week but we will be back in for training today and tomorrow. They have worked hard and need the rest and it will give people a chance to catch up.

"Liam George and Jon Parkin should both be okay and looking to get back in the squad for the Carlisle game. It will come too soon for Leigh Wood but he could be back for the re-arranged Southend match on January 27.

"Lev Yalcin has come back to training and has had no reaction aside from muscle soreness for the first time. He's on the right road and just needs match fitness. He's somebody I envisage using before the end of the season.

"Stuart Wise is fine. We will have a game on Friday among ourselves and he will be one of the players involved. Thankfully, we have also got a reserve game arranged for January 7.

"By the time we play Carlisle, everybody apart from Leigh Wood and Lev Yalcin, could be available which is what we need because if we can keep everybody fit and stay injury free we have got the nucleus of a good squad."

Brass will be particularly pleased to have defender Wise back in the fray with centre-back Chris Smith and skipper Darren Edmondson suspended for the January 17 trip to Northampton.

Both players have received a one-match ban after being shown their fifth yellow cards of the season at Rochdale but are eligible for the Carlisle game on January 10 because the Spotland match was on a Sunday, meaning the 14-day rule does not come into effect until the Sixfields visit.

Brass said: "It will be a shame to lose them both and I'm a little bit disappointed but it does not take much to reach five bookings especially with the referees clamping down. It would have been worse had they had a 20-day break because you run the risk of them getting rusty."

Updated: 10:25 Wednesday, December 31, 2003