CHRIS BRANDON was due back in action today, aiming to stake his claim for Town's home League I showdown with Brentford on Saturday.
The 30-year-old midfielder (main picture) has been laid low with a virus, the first effects of which were seen during the 3-1 home win over Gillingham.
He came off at half-time to tell boss Peter Jackson he felt distinctly below par, was replaced by Matt Young, and didn't train at all last week.
But the ex-Torquay and Chesterfield man had a work-out yesterday, when Jackson attended a routine League Managers' Association meeting at Sheffield United.
The boss was set to be on the other side of the steel city this afternoon, hoping to see Brandon put in a lively display in the Reserve clash at Sheffield Wednesday (2.00).
Out-of-favour pair Martin McIntosh, left, and Mark Hudson were also set for run-outs in the Pontin's Holidays League Central Division clash at Hillsborough.
Centre-back McIntosh has been out of the first-team frame since telling Jackson he wasn't in the right frame of mind to face Gillingham because of uncertainty over his future.
The 35-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and had been told he couldn't be guaranteed terms for 2007-08.
Midfielder Hudson - also out of contract in the summer and, like McIntosh, told he is free to look for another club now - has been sidelined by a knee injury.
But the former Chesterfield man returned to training at the end of last week and had the chance to impress any watching scouts this afternoon.