Bateman’s return could be a Christmas present for Poppies

Liam Bateman could be back for Kettering Town over the Christmas period as he recovers from a hamstring injury

Liam Bateman could be back for Kettering Town over the Christmas period as he recovers from a hamstring injury

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Marcus Law is hoping full-back Liam Bateman will be ready to return for Kettering Town at some stage over the Christmas period.

The right-back has been missing since suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury during the 2-0 defeat at Merthyr Town at the start of last month.

It is a problem that has hampered Bateman since he joined the Poppies during last season.

And boss Law is now hoping the “programme” the club have given the player will have the right effect.

“We have stripped Liam back and he is basically doing a pre-season again,” Law, who is preparing for Saturday’s home clash with Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division bottom markers Cinderford Town, said.

“We have taken him back to the start and given him a programme to follow.

“He will get on with that and we hope that we will see him this side of Christmas, if not very shortly after.”

Law also confirmed that goalkeeper Paul White is now match fit and available while youngster Ben Bradshaw remains the only long-term absentee due to the knee injury he suffered in the loss at Merthyr.

The Poppies, meanwhile, are now set to travel to current leaders Leamington on Tuesday, January 17. The clash between the two was postponed on Tuesday night due to a frozen pitch.