TOWN hope Robbie Williams will be back playing football by the middle of next month.
The left-sided signing who is recovering from a fracture of the shin has been pencilled in for the November 14 home date with West Brom Reserves.
That opens up the chance of a first-team debut in the Galpharm clash with Orient on Saturday, November 24.
Supporters are eager to see Williams in blue and white stripes, but boss Andy Ritchie is refusing to rush a player he rates highly after having him in his side in Barnsley.
He was close to completing a deal during pre-season, only for Williams to suffer his injury during a training session at Oakwell.
The full-back or midfielder was finally signed on a three-year contract shortly before the closure of the August transfer window.
“Everyone’s patience is being tested, particularly Robbie’s, because he’s desperate to get back to normal,” reported Ritchie, who is optimistic striker Andy Booth (back) will be available for tomorrow night’s League I trip to Tranmere.
“But as with all injuries, you can end up doing extra damage by bringing a player back too soon.
“The medical people are happy with his progress, and he’s been training with the rest of the squad on a non-contact basis for a couple of weeks.
“We’ve been making him wear orange socks so the other lads know not to crunch him, and I think he’ll be a happy man when he gets to throw them away!”
Keeper Simon Eastwood (broken foot) is ahead of schedule in his recovery and could train by December.