DANNY WARD is pushing for a Huddersfield Town return at Watford on Saturday.
The winger has missed five games because of a knee injury and a bout of illness.
But as midfielder Chris Atkinson was handed a new contract through to 2014, Ward returned to training and is trying to stake a claim for the vital Championship clash at Vicarage Road.
With Adam Hammill back at Wolves – Town boss Simon Grayson is due to speak to his recently-appointed Molineux counterpart about the 24-year-old early next week – Ward’s return is timely.
“Danny would have been in the frame for last Saturday’s Birmingham game had he not been under the weather,” explained Grayson, whose 17th-placed side are seeking a first win in 12 league games against Gianfranco Zola’s promotion-chasing Hornets, who are sixth.
“He now has the chance to make an impression and force his way back into our thinking for a vital phase of the season.”
On Hammill, who ended his loan with a spectacular equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Lee Clark’s Birmingham, Grayson said: “I spoke to Dean Saunders on Monday.
“We agreed to talk again when he’s had the chance to have a good look at Adam, and we’ll see where we go from there.
“I’m not ruling out any possibility, because we are working to a certain budget, we don’t know if Wolves will want to keep Adam and it could be that other possibilities arise for us.”
Town have the option to extend Atkinson’s contract through to 2015, and Grayson said of the 20-year-old, who has made six Town appearances this season after a loan spell at Chesterfield: “Chris has worked hard and taken every opportunity he’s had.
“I liked the look of him when I arrived last season, and the loan spell really brought him on.”
Atkinson said: “I have been at the club since I was seven so I’m delighted to be staying.
“I’ve learned a lot so far this season.”
Town defender Joel Lynch remains under treatment for a hamstring problem.