GOAL getter Gary Taylor- Fletcher will pull on a Town shirt tonight - five days ahead of schedule and eager to fire himself into the frame for Saturday's crunch Galpharm League I clash with in-form Scunthorpe.
The club's eight-goal top scorer had been eyeing a scheduled Reserve match at Port Vale on Monday, which has since been postponed, for his comeback from a knee injury.
But instead he will play in the friendly at Bradford Park Avenue (7.30), three and half weeks after his last trip up the M606 led to a painful ligament strain.
While his teammates were celebrating a sweet 1-0 win in the League I derby at Bradford City, the 25-year-old was sitting with the damaged joint iced up, having come off five minutes into the second half.
While the atmosphere at the Horsfall Stadium will be less partisan than it was at Valley Parade, Taylor-Fletcher will be just as eager to impress.
"We originally thought he could be out for as long as six weeks, so this is a big bonus," said manager Peter Jackson, who will field another recovering player, right-back Andy Holdsworth (ankle), but not central defender David Mirfin (thigh).
"Fletch began running on a treadmill late last week, and after an outdoors work-out with (physio) Lee Martin at Storthes Hall on Monday, he trained with the full squad yesterday and felt no adverse effects.
"Obviously a proper match is another step-up, and we'll give him a full assessment afterwards, but if all goes well, Fletch could come into the equation for the Scunthorpe game."