LUKE Summerfield could be thrown straight into York City’s starting XI against Bury tomorrow night just a day after returning to full training.

The 27-year-old midfielder has been sidelined by a thigh injury since City’s January 31 trip to Southend and has missed the last eight games. But, despite admitting it could be a risk to pitch Summerfield in against promotion hopefuls Bury at Bootham Crescent, City boss Russ Wilcox has admitted he is under consideration for a recall.

On-loan Middlesbrough right-back Brad Halliday has been deputising in midfield during Summerfield’s absence after initial replacement Lewis Montrose was hauled off just 56 minutes into last month’s 2-0 home defeat to Dagenham.

Weighing up the pros and cons of selecting Summerfield against the Shakers, Wilcox said: “Luke did his first competitive training session today and he was back with the group. He’s been doing a lot of work with (physio) Jeff (Miller) and there’s been no reaction so, fingers crossed, it will be nice to get him back.

“It would be a risk putting him straight back in after just one day back, but he’s a fit lad who keeps himself in good shape. He’s been fit during most of the time I’ve been at the club and he’s a quality player who is in my thoughts for the game.

“He showed in the Bury away game what he’s about. He scored a free kick and had the full range of what you need from a midfielder that day, although the players have done a terrific job in there while he has been injured.

“They are different to Luke and you have to look at different ways of trying to win a game of football.”

Having seen his side keep four clean sheets in their last six matches but also slug out back-to-back 0-0 stalemates at home, Wilcox admitted he is working on methods to enhance potency, which could mean three of the team’s four recognised centre forwards – Jake Hyde, Emile Sinclair, Shaq Coulthirst and Diego De Girolamo – starting against the Shakers.

The City chief explained: “Our defensive record is good, touch wood, so we are looking at how we can improve our goalscoring stats, especially at home. We have got four strikers to mix and match.

“Shaq can play out wide as well and, whichever two or three start, it’s important to have a Plan B and an option of changing things around.”

Despite pointing out at the weekend that his team are having to be more direct on a difficult Bootham Crescent pitch, Wilcox also argued that can be achieved without the powerful target man his squad lacks.

“Playing more direct does not just mean hoofing the ball and chasing it down,” he explained. “You don’t need a big man up there either.

“It can be done with movement and pace up front and with players who can put a pass in the right areas.”

If the hosts are to net tomorrow, they will need to beat former keeper Nick Pope, who kept 14 clean sheets from 18 matches for City at the end of last season during a highly-impressive loan stay from Charlton.

During that time, he proved masterful in claiming crosses into his box and Wilcox confessed that his team will need to use more imagination in dead-ball situations, pointing out: “We know he likes to come for a lot of things so we will need to play with a bit more intelligence and have more options from our set-plays than we did on Saturday.

“Hopefully, he will get a good reception from our fans because he deserves that for the outstanding contribution he made to the club getting into the play-offs last season. But, once that first whistle goes, he’s a Bury player and we’ve got to do our best to put some goals past him.”

The City boss is also expecting a strong visiting line up, whichever 11 players David Flitcroft selects for the promotion-chasing Lancashire outfit. On Bury’s resources, Wilcox said: “They have one of the biggest budgets in the league and, with that spending power, he has been able to recruit quality players. If they make changes to freshen things up, they are usually replacing quality with quality.”

Malvind Benning, meanwhile, has been recalled by parent club Walsall and is expected to feature in the Saddlers’ home match with Sheffield United tomorrow night.

The 21-year-old left back was not included in City’s squad against Carlisle at the weekend due to Coulthirst’s arrival at the club with only five loan players permitted for duty on a match day.

Following his return to the Midlands, Wilcox said: “Walsall have called him back because their left-back Andy Taylor has got a calf strain and Malvind is set to play against Sheffield United now. He missed out on Saturday but he did really well for us during his time here and it was great for his development to experience life outside of Walsall, where he has played since he was ten.”