KEY man Jim Whitley has returned in time to boost Wrexham's heavy Christmas and New Year schedule.
The 29-year-old versatile midfielder has become a vital cog in Denis Smith's side since his move to the Racecourse from Manchester City, and his return from a longstanding thigh injury couldn't be timed better, with Sunday's game at Bradford City kick-starting a run of four matches in eight days.
And with Wrexham scrapping for points in the League One relegation zone - after the Football League docked them 10 points for going into administration - Whitley is determined to help their cause.
Speaking before Saturday's encounter with Hartlepool United, in which he made his comeback, the Northern Ireland international said: 'It was 10 weeks last Saturday that I tore a muscle in my thigh and I've been banging my head against the wall ever since.
'But it was a bad tear and I've had to be patient, which has not been easy because so many of us have been going down with long-term problems.
'We've obviously struggled for a team as a result but we need every one we can get now that we have been docked 10 points and find ourselves in a relegation battle.'
Although returned to first-team training, Whitley admits he's still finding his full fitness. But that didn't stop Whitley answering Smith's call on Saturday.
He said: 'In an ideal world I'd like to have a couple of weeks training and one or two games under my belt before going back into the first team. But with the size of the squad we have at Wrexham and the injury problems, that's not a realistic option.
'I want to get back as soon as I possibly can especially with it coming up to Christmas, which is always a busy time in terms of matches. We need to pick up some points along the way and I'm sure we can do that, especially as we expect to have a few more of the experienced lads coming back in the near future.'