YORK City Knights are set to receive a welcome boost with the news that Lee Jackson could soon be back in action.

And in another plus, winger Alex Godfrey might also put off a hernia operation until the end of the season.

Former Great Britain hooker Jackson has been out since mid-March with a lower back problem but has come through training and might be available for the Knights' next match, away to Barrow on Sunday.

Player-coach Paul Broadbent told the Evening Press: "He had an injection in his back and he came through training okay.

"He did more contact work than he has done for a couple of months and he did not get any reaction.

"He is a quality player so to have him back would be excellent."

As the Knights were not in action yesterday - the National League programme had a break at the weekend to accommodate the quarter-finals of the Arriva Trains Cup - this gave Jackson another week to get to full fitness.

"He could be figuring in the near future providing there is no further reaction," added Broadbent.

Aussie Trevor Krause, who started the season at scrum-half, has been superb since taking over at hooker, which means Jackson will have to fight for his number nine jersey.

Said Broadbent: "Trevor Krause has been pretty outstanding for us in the times he has played at hooker.

"We're getting into a position, once Lee Jackson is fit, where we've got a lot of competition for places.

"It's not pressure on the players as such, but there are other people looking to get in there, so it does indirectly mean that players have to perform."

Meanwhile, Godfrey, who has played only three times since mid-February because of a hernia problem, is also on the verge of a return after seeing a medical specialist.

An operation had previously been mooted but this would rule him out for the majority of the season and he is keen to delay surgery.

Godfrey said: "If I went under the knife I would not be able to play until it's completely healed and I've been told that would now take at least two or three months.

"The other option would be to play through it with rehab and physiotherapy and if it reoccurs, which we think it will, then get the operation at the end of the season.

"This might mean playing one week then missing the next one or two, but I would prefer to play what I can."

Updated: 10:58 Monday, May 19, 2003