Richie Wellens in frame for Leicester City return by end of month
Richie Wellens took a big step towards a first-team return when he made his first appearance since April in the Leicester City under-21 development squad's victory against Crewe on Monday night.
Wellens, who damaged knee ligaments in the home defeat to West Ham at the end of last season and had to undergo surgery, managed to get 30 minutes of pitch-time.
The 32-year-old midfielder has spent the summer in rehabilitation but could be back in the first team by the end of the month.
American central defender Zak Whitbread played a full 90 minutes as he continues to catch up for missing most of pre-season, and he could be in contention for City's trip to Wolves on September 16.
The 4-0 victory against Crewe came courtesy of an own-goal and strikes from Paul Gallagher, Matty James and Jacob Blyth.
Development squad manager Steve Beaglehole said: "It is great for Richie to get 30 minutes.
"It is a nice progression for him. Instead of being thrown straight into a Championship game, he went on in the latter stages of the game and that allowed him to get some pitch-time under his belt. It will be good to get him back.
"The fact you can play three over-age players (under league rules) is great for the boss (Nigel Pearson), because he might have players like Richie who need games, and this is a big part of his comeback.
"For the younger players, you can't buy that experience of playing with the senior players.
"Zak Whitbread was outstanding and his reading of the game at times was a big part of us keeping a clean sheet.
"Cian Bolger and Tom Parkes had a great partnership in the youth team but they have never played alongside a recognised senior centre-back.
"I thought Whitbread could give the players around him more than any coach can in one training session."