Defender set to give Notts injury boost
MANNY Smith is set to give Notts County the best Christmas present.
The defender, 23, has still not played a league game for the Magpies since joining them from League One rivals Walsall in the summer.
Boss Keith Curle signed him to be one of his first-choice centre-backs with Dean Leacock and the two players formed a promising partnership during pre-season.
But Smith then suffered a bad knee ligament injury on the opening day of the season, in a shock defeat to League Two Bradford City in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
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He played just 40 minutes on his debut before being carried off on a stretcher and he has not been seen since.
But he is now close to returning to training – and Curle hopes he will be back in contention to play over the Christmas period, even though he will now face a battle for a place at the heart of the back-four because Notts have signed Jamaica international Damion Stewart on a short-term deal.
"It's probably going to be another three weeks before Manny gets back into training," said Curle.
"I'm hoping he will be back in contention coming into the Christmas period and that will be great because we are facing a lot of games then where we will need to rotate the squad."