Cardiff's Michael Chopra 'couple of weeks' from return

Michael Chopra
Michael Chopra was Cardiff's £4m record signing in the summer of 2009

Michael Chopra has handed Cardiff City's promotion hopes a surprise boost as the striker is "a couple of weeks" away from full fitness.

Chopra, 27, was initially ruled out for the season after tearing his hamstring in Cardiff's 2-2 draw with Barnsley on 13 March.

Now Cardiff hope 11-goal Chopra may play again this season as scans show his injury is recovering ahead of time.

Cardiff are also monitoring the fitness of goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

The ex-Manchester United stopper suffered a groin strain in Saturday's 4-1 win over Derby, which was his first game back after four matches on the sidelines.

But scans have shown it is not a recurrence of his original injury and he is expected to be fit for Saturday's trip to Doncaster.

Centre-back Mark Hudson and keeper David Marshall are out for the season though.

Hudson injured his knee in Cardiff's 3-3 draw at Millwall on 19 March while Scottish stopper Marshall is recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery.

The Bluebirds, however, are unable to call on defender Anthony Gerrard in the play-offs as the terms of his season-long loan move to Championship rivals Hull City state he is contracted to the KC Stadium club until the end of May.

But Chopra could prove a timely boost if he returns earlier than expected - or at least play a part in the end-of-season play-offs should Cardiff not win automatic promotion.

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