Birmingham City forward Isaac Vassell is nearing a return from an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury he sustained against Aston Villa in October 2017, according to reports in the Birmingham Mail.
More than 375 days will have passed since the Newquay-born goal-getter last took the field when he next steps out onto the pitch for Birmingham.
In nine appearances, mostly off the bench under Harry Redknapp and Lee Carsley, the 5ft 7in striker featured for 399 minutes and scored a single goal.
He had only joined the St Andrew’s side in the summer on a four-year contract from Luton Town, but found his Blues career derailed early on.
Vassell now has a chance to return for the latest Second City derby at the end of the month as he nears a return to full fitness.
As quoted by the Birmingham Mail, current Blues boss Garry Monk said: “Isaac should be joining us for training in the international break, after the Hull game [on Nov 10].
“That’s so far, so good in his rehab.”
Despite only scoring once in his brief Birmingham career to date, the Plymouth Argyle product has shown throughout his career that he can score at different levels – his stint at Luton resulted in 10 goals in 42 games.
At present, Birmingham finds themselves in 10th place, just a win outside the play-off positions, but goals have not been all that easy to come by with 20 in 16 games.
The club’s highest scorers so far are strikers Lukas Jutkiewicz and Che Adams who together have netted a combined 14 of the 20, and that has meant there has been more pressure on the likes of Jota to contribute, although the Spaniard has only got one goa.
The return of Vassell will give Monk another option to play up top and alternate with the current strikers who are heavily relied upon, and give the Blues that extra threat to ease some of the burden on their midfielders.