Skipper is close to first start of season

Jim Bentley (above) will ponder a recall for Peter Murphy   (Photo: Matt Rushton)

Jim Bentley (above) will ponder a recall for Peter Murphy (Photo: Matt Rushton)

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Midfielder Peter Murphy is edging ever closer to being earning a starting place in the Morecambe team.

The 26-year-old captain has endured an injury-ravaged time with the Shrimps since signing from Wycombe Wanderers in the summer of 2015.

Two separate ligament injuries to his knee – which both required surgery – has limited his appearances for the club to just 10 games.

A dangerous blood clot on his lung further complicated his recovery, but the Shrimps skipper looks to be nearing full fitness.

He came on as a late substitute in the 4-1 defeat to Bury in the League Cup at the end of last month and was called upon from the bench once more in the second half as Morecambe secured a terrific 2-1 away win at Cambridge.

After getting 90 minutes under his belt during a reserve team game this week, Shrimps boss Jim Bentley revealed the former Accrington Stanley stalwart will once again be part of his squad for this weekend’s home clash against Crawley Town.

“He’s not far off now,” said Bentley. “He’s still lacking a little bit of sharpness which is only to be expected with the amount of time that he’s been out.

“He is showing good signs and seems to getting stronger and fitter. All he has to do now is brush up on his sharpness.

“Every day in training, we’ve identified little things to work with him on, but he seems to be coming along nicely.

“He had a taste of it against Bury in the cup when he came on for the last 10 minutes. He got about 15 to 20 minutes against Cambridge and got 90 for the reserves.

“Peter’s had a couple of other reserve team outings when he’s played 60 or 70 minutes.

“He’s on the right path, but it’s important that we don’t expect too much, too soon from him.

“We have got to make sure we manage and monitor him right over the next few weeks.

“But he’s a big player for us and will definitely be in the squad for this weekend.”

Bentley comes up against new adversary in the dug-out on Saturday in Crawley’s new manager Dermot Drummy, who took charge of the club towards the end of last season.

A former youth player – who played for Blackpool in the Football League – Drummy had been a coach at Chelsea for five years.

“He seems to be doing quite well at Crawley,” said Bentley.

“He’s recruited well during the summer and brought in players like James Collins, who is one of the best strikers at this level.

“They have got some good players there and it will be nice to come up against him for the first time.”

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