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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Carlisle Utd's Lee Miller and Rory Loy train together for first time in 12 months

Badly-missed duo Lee Miller and Rory Loy have handed Carlisle United a massive boost by returning to the training pitch together for the first time in a year.

Rory Loy photo
Rory Loy, left and Lee Miller

The strikers took a major step towards a first-team return yesterday when they joined in a light training session with their team-mates after overcoming serious injuries.

It was the first time the pair have been on a training ground together this year after Loy broke his leg at Preston on Boxing Day.

Their presence on the training pitch will have given Greg Abbott and his players a huge lift as the Blues boss has seen his squad decimated by injuries this season.

Loy could be named on the bench for Saturday’s home clash with high-flying Sheffield United after Abbott’s squad was stretched to breaking point following fresh injuries to midfielder James Berrett and right-back Frank Simek.

However, Saturday’s League One clash will come too soon for Miller, who hopes to be back in the reckoning for United’s festive campaign with games against Hartlepool, Bury and Crewe over Christmas and New Year.

Miller missed the final nine games of last season and was forced to undergo a hernia operation in the summer.

But worse was to follow on the opening day of the current campaign when he suffered an ankle injury against Stevenage.

The 28-year-old former Middlesbrough, Dundee United and Aberdeen targetman suffered a badly bruised and swollen ankle following a tackle, and faced more surgery to remove floating bone and stabilise the joint.

Loy has already been eased back into action in behind-closed-doors friendlies and reserve games, and scored in a 1-1 draw in a practice match against Barnsley last week.

United are also likely to set up practice matches so Miller can step up his return to fitness.

Their absence came as a huge blow to the Blues as both players were flying in a three-pronged attack alongside their fellow Scot JP McGovern.

Miller scored 15 goals last season following his arrival from Middlesbrough and his injury wrecked United’s hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Loy, who arrived at Brunton Park on a free transfer from Rangers in January 2011, scored four goals after breaking into the Carlisle side.

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