MADS Andersen is ‘very close’ to returning to Barnsley’s team and could play his first game of the season at Bristol City on Saturday, if it is not deemed too risky after a lengthy knee injury.

The Danish defender, who has missed the whole season so far with an injury sustained in pre-season, has trained all week with the team. Head coach Markus Schopp told the Chronicle: “He looks really sharp, he’s hungry and we know what a professional player he is. We will see if he can play the next game.

“He is one of the players where we have to be really really careful but, on the other hand, we know how important he is for us.”

Josh Benson has also returned to training this week. The midfielder has missed the last five matches due to injury and is thought to have an outside chance of featuring tomorrow.

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Schopp said Jordan Williams and Romal Palmer would be back in contention. Full-back Williams pulled out of Sunday’s game with Sheffield United late on due to injury while midfielder Palmer also missed the derby with the Blades. Schopp said: “Romal didn’t train at the beginning of the week but he has been back the last couple of days. Jordan Williams trained in the regular way. I think both will be available.”

Defender Aapo Halme and striker Carlton Morris are not due back until after the international break which starts a week tomorrow.