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Gillingham defender Joe Martin is back in contention ahead of Preston North End FA Cup clash

By Luke Cawdell

Joe Martin is back at manager Martin Allen’s disposal after getting approval from specialists to resume playing.

The Gillingham left-back (pictured) had been an ever-present under Allen but has missed the last seven games after breaking his hand in the defeat at Torquay in October.

Last Thursday he was told he could return to action and on Tuesday he played 45 minutes for the development side in a friendly with AFC Wimbledon at Beechings Cross.

Allen said: "He had a scan last Thursday and a consultant gave him the all-clear to start training. He has trained hard with Mark Patterson and Darren Hare all over the weekend.

"The lads have done great filling in for him but he is a top quality player."

Martin goes straight back into the squad for the trip to Preston tomorrow (Saturday).

Top scorer Danny Kedwell is also likely to return. He had a slight groin injury last week and wasn’t risked at Accrington.

"He is fit," said Allen.

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