Rene Howe: Fit-again striker returns for Newport County
Striker Rene Howe has been included Newport County's squad for Saturday's League Two game against Stevenage at Rodney Parade.
The former Burton Albion player ruptured a thigh muscle in training in August and was initially due to miss the whole season.
But the 28-year-old has recovered far earlier than expected much to the delight of manager Justin Edinburgh.
"It's another big boost for us. He's an excellent player," Edinburgh said.
"When we first had the injury diagnosed it looked like it could finish his season.
"But he's shown a great attitude and application towards getting himself fit and I'm really pleased for him.
Howe was released by Burton in January 2014 and joined County, where he was reunited with his former Rushden & Diamonds manager Edinburgh.
He has scored three goals in 19 appearances for County and played 40 minutes in a midweek friendly against Portsmouth.
Edinburgh is pleased to have Howe available once again following a four month absence ahead of a busy Christmas period.
"It's a big boost for us as a football club to have someone of his calibre back in to the squad," Edinburgh added.
"We certainly haven't seen the best of Rene.
"We started to see that in pre-season, but unfortunately with the injury coming when it did it was a big blow for us.
"But he's overcome the injury and got back to fitness a lot sooner than we thought and I'm looking forward to getting him back on the football pitch."
Newport will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run to nine league matches against Stevenage on Saturday.
Edinburgh's side won away at Bury and Carlisle in their previous two away games and are currently seventh, the final play-off spot in League Two.
"We've had a couple of draws of late at home and we really want to make sure, after two good away wins, that we back that with three points against Stevenage," Edinburgh said.