ADNAN AHMED is training with Lincoln City - and could become the first player to feature in Town boss Peter Jackson's promised January shake-up.
The injury-plagued central midfielder, out of contract at the end of the season, has been unable to force his way into the first team since recovering from a fractured foot suffered during pre-season.
And when the absence of both skipper Jon Worthington and Mark Hudson gave him a League I chance at Doncaster on New Year's Day, he blew it by getting sent off.
That straight red card for a late tackle of Mark McCammon 57 minutes into Town's 3-0 defeat led to a three-match suspension.
That means Ahmed can't play until after Saturday, when Town go to Bournemouth and the League II Imps head for Bury.
Burnley-based Ahmed, at Manchester United as a schoolboy, joined the Town Academy when John Deehan, now Lincoln's director of football, was a coach at the club, first under Steve Bruce, then Lou Macari.
The squad at Lincoln, where John Schofield is manager and the team third in the table, already includes Town old boys Adie Moses and Nat Brown.
"Adnan is spending a couple of days down there and we'll see what transpires," said Jackson.
"Obviously he still has to serve out his suspension, so there is no rush on a deal."
Ahme's only other appearance this season was in the 2-1 home Johnstone's Paint Trophy defat by Doncaster in October.
Jackson handed him his debut in the 1-1 draw at Rochdale, in what is now League II, in September 2003.
In all, Ahmed has made 37 appearances, 14 of them as a substitute, and scored twice.