League champions Sligo Rovers have received a timely boost as star striker Danny North has returned to training for the first time since picking up a serious knee injury against Spartak Trnava last July.

The former St Pat’s striker had scored 14 league goals in 16 games during Sligo’s championship-winning season before damaging his knee in Europa League action for Rovers.

North’s recovery towards full fitness will continue over the next few weeks and he is likely to be involved with the first team squad within the next month.

The Bit O’Red are attempting to retain their trophy this season and are currently three points clear at the top of the table ahead of Derry City and St Patrick’s Athletic.

And manager Ian Baraclough knows that North’s return will be very valuable for the second half of the season but is not rushing the striker back to action ahead of full fitness.

Baraclough said: "He has done a lot of twisting and turning in training on Thursday to continue his progress. It is a step forward and he has plenty more to make ahead of a return to being involved.

“He has done a lot of work with our fitness coach Paul Stewart and it will pay dividends. I know he wants to be playing games, I know he wants to be scoring goals, and he has a smile on his face to be back in training. That is nice to see and Danny will keep working over the next number of weeks."

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