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By ESPN Staff

Coyle cautious as Samuel nears return

Bolton boss Owen Coyle believes defender Jlloyd Samuel is in need of another two reserve matches before completing his long-awaited comeback.

Samuel has not played for Coyle's side since a pre-season friendly with Osasuna in August due to a ruptured thigh.

But Samuel is now firmly on the road to full fitness after playing the full 90 minutes of Bolton's 3-2 reserve team victory over Manchester City this week.

Saturday's Premier League trip to Newcastle comes too soon for Samuel, although Coyle is naturally delighted the full back is nearing the end of a long road.

"Jlloyd did very well to come back and play through the reserve game given he had been out for months,'' said Coyle.

"He's back training with the group, but he's only had one reserve game, so he's certainly not in contention to face Newcastle.

"However, he is progressing, which is great because he's a terrific lad as well as a top player.

"We hope that with another couple of reserve games then he'll be right back in the mix.

"That will be great because the loss of Zat Knight (knee) and Sam Ricketts (Achilles), who have been hugely influential as part of our group this season, were big blows.''

Coyle has also confirmed another defender in Gretar Steinsson, who has been out for a month with a knee injury, may come into contention for the trip to St James' Park.

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