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Returning players set for Under-23s action

Nathan Baker, Callum O’Dowda, Liam Walsh and Marley Watkins could return to the pitch when the Under-23s take on QPR on Tuesday (March 9th, 1pm).

Nigel Pearson confirmed the four players are in contention for minutes at the Optima Stadium, as he addressed squad availability for his first team’s match against QPR in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday (March 6th, 3pm KO).

He said: “We’ve certainly got players close to coming back and hopefully they will take part in the Under-23s game next week. I’ll go and see that so I have a better overview of some of those players coming back too."

“Yes, potentially” he added when asked about the four aforementioned players in particular. “That would be a positive step for those players and for us collectively it gives us more options.”

Walsh featured in the Under-23s’ Severnside derby last week, while next week’s fixture for the development group could be the first action of the season for centre-back Baker. Watkins suffered a hamstring injury while on loan at Aberdeen in the first half of the season but has continued his recovery back in Bristol.

Jamie Paterson (groin) also continues his recovery and is unavailable for selection against the Hoops this weekend.

Pearson said: “He’s still not available but he’s making progress. It’s important form his own perspective that he feels able to perform at the level we want and that he wants as well.”

City v QPR will be streamed live on Robins TV, with matchday coverage starting at 2.30pm.

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