Bristol City defender Greg Cunningham on course for quick return
Bristol City defender Greg Cunningham is on course to make his long-awaited Championship comeback ahead of schedule.
Sidelined by ankle ligament damage since mid-September, the Republic of Ireland left-back is making a quicker recovery than expected.
At the time he sustained the injury at Peterborough, it was feared he would be out of action until at least the second week in December.
But the former Manchester City starlet is responding to treatment and has shed the protective boot he was made to wear for more than a month.
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He consulted a specialist last week and Robins manager Derek McInnes reckons Cunningham could be available for selection towards the end of November, providing there are no unforeseen setbacks along the way.
"I think it would be wrong to put a date on it, because that would pressure on him," said McInnes.
"But he has been different class in terms of his rehabilitation, like the true professional he is.
"Greg is eager to get back, he is doing everything to the letter and the physio has been delighted by his progress.
"He saw the specialist about ten days ago and it is all systems go now to try to really push him on with his work.
"There may be little setbacks along the way over the next few weeks, but he is certainly ahead of where we thought he would be.
"When he was first injured in the Peterborough game, we thought he would be out until about the second week of December.
"Without putting a date on it, I would expect him to be fit and available before then."
Meanwhile, McInnes has added his own voice to the growing concern at this season's npower Championship fixture list.
Clubs have repeatedly been asked to play back-to-back home games followed by two matches on the road, a schedule that some critics blame for falling attendance.
City hosted Crystal Palace and Cardiff in the space of four days in August and played back-to-back away game against Peterborough and Watford the following month.
Leeds and Millwall then visited Ashton Gate in the space of four days, after which the Robins travelled to Leicester and Bolton either side of a two-week international break.
And City fans are again being asked to dig deep this week as their team host Burnley and Hull.
"I've spoken to other managers about it and we've noticed that attendances tend to be down for the second home game," said McInnes.
"You can understand that given that money is at a premium and supporters are having to dig deep.
"In the end, people will pick and choose and decide to watch one game and not the other one.
"It is not ideal, because home support is massive for any club.
"You will struggle if you do not have that through a season.
"I know it will probably pan out over the course of a season, but I feel it is a little unfair on supporters to have blocks of games away and then at home.
"To have to travel twice and then have two home games in a week forces people to pick and choose."