DAVID McGurk will not be risked by York City for Saturday’s League Two clash at Northampton unless he is 100 per cent fit.

The 30-year-old defender has made encouraging progress from the calf injury that caused him to miss the second half of Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Accrington Stanley but, with two games still left in the Minstermen’s relegation battle following the trip to Sixfields, Bootham Crescent chief Nigel Worthington is unwilling to rush McGurk back and lose him for the remainder of the campaign.

The City boss said: “Dave McGurk’s coming along nicely and we will be giving him as much time as possible but, if there’s a slight doubt at all, we won’t risk him because we have two more important games remaining after that. If he needs another seven days to make a full recovery, then that’s what will have to happen.”

On his options should McGurk be unavailable, Worthington suggested that teenager Tom Allan could be given his full debut and Chris Doig might be in contention for his first outing since Boxing Day following an ankle injury, saying: “We have Tom Allan and Chris Doig and Jack O’Connell could go back in there as well, but the intention is to give David McGurk every chance of playing before we look at something else because he has done exceptionally well since coming back into the team.”

With Josh Carson having returned to Ipswich with a broken foot, Worthington will be forced into at least one change for the Sixfields encounter and is pondering whether Michael Coulson is ready for his first start, after three substitute outings following his return from cruciate knee ligament surgery.

On the loss of Carson and its implications, Worthington added: “You are always disappointed to lose any player and Josh did exceptionally well for us.

“We have been monitoring Michael Coulson all week and will continue to do so right up to the game.”

Worthington, meanwhile, is still waiting to learn whether Danny Wilson’s dismissal as Sheffield United manager will have a bearing on whether the Minstermen can retain on-loan striker Richard Cresswell’s services until the end of the season.

The Blades could exercise their 28-day recall clause after Saturday’s game although the initial agreement between the two clubs did include the home match with Southend a week on Saturday.

Chris Morgan, who Cresswell assisted in the running of United’s under-21 team prior to his Bootham Crescent switch, has taken temporary charge at Bramall Lane and it will now be left to him to determine the 35-year-old forward’s immediate future.

“The initial agreement was 31 days, which would cover the Southend game, but we will have to see what happens next week,” Worthington said. “All we can do is focus on Saturday and get the most from him in that match.

“What I do know is that he’s enjoying himself and we are enjoying having him here. He’s been very good around the place.”

Worthington confirmed that midfielder Scott Kerr has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a back injury.

“That’s disappointing for him and for us,” he added.