Notts County defender Manny Smith set to play for first time since bad knee injury
MANNY Smith will today take a big step towards making his long-awaited comeback for Notts County.
The young defender has not played since suffering a bad knee ligament injury on the very first day of the season in August.
But he is back in full training now and is set to play in a friendly against Derby County with the club's development squad.
And Magpies' boss Keith Curle hopes the 24-year-old will be back in the first-team frame in the next fortnight.
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"He's been training for just over a week so now it's all about getting his fitness back and giving him some match practice," said Curle.
"He's been getting on excellently and he's nearly back in the fold now, which is great.
"He's playing in a development game against Derby today so that's another step forward in his progression and I think that in one more week to ten days he will probably be ready and available for selection."
Curle signed Smith on a two-year deal in the summer to be one of his first-choice centre-backs this season, but he lasted just 40 minutes on his debut before being carried off on a stretcher.
His return will be a big boost to the Magpies as they chase promotion into the Championship.
"He's back in full tilt and he's had no complaints (with his knee)," added Curle. "The medical and strength and conditioning teams have worked tirelessly with him.
"It's been a long road back, but he's applied himself very well."