ROBBIE SIMPSON has seen a specialist in a bid to finally cure his nagging thigh problem.

And Town boss Lee Clark is hopeful the former Coventry striker will be back before the end of the current League I campaign.

While Australian left-back Dean Heffernan is back in training after missing the key home win over Millwall with a dead leg, Clark is waiting for further news on Simpson.

The thigh problem is the latest setback in a frustrating season for the 25-year-old, who has been limited to five starts and 11 outings from the bench because of various fitness problems.

“Robbie was close to a return, but when he started to go at 100%, he was still feeling the injury,” explained Clark, who is preparing his play-off chasing side for Saturday’s big trip to basement team Stockport.

“We’ve sent him to the specialist to try and push him that extra stage and hopefully the news will be positive.

“We want as many players available as possible, and as I keep saying, we haven’t yet seen the real Robbie Simpson.”

Heffernan missed out against Millwall last Friday after failing a fitness test, but Clark reported: “He made great strides over the weekend.

“He was struggling to jog properly last Thursday and wouldn’t have been right for Millwall, but treatment has done the trick and he trained without problem yesterday.”

Lee Peltier, who returned from two games out with an ankle injury to take Heffernan’s left-back berth against Millwall, also trained normally.

He came off after 83 minutes against the Londoners, but that was more due to muscle tightness.

Clark, who will be keeping tabs on Southampton’s home clash with Oldham tonight as the Saints aim to cut the gap on sixth-placed Town to five points with nine to play for, has decided against fielding any senior players in tonight’s League reserve clash against Newcastle at the Northumberland FA’s Whitley Park ground (7.00).