Saunders and Maher almost ready for Daggers return

Midfield duo step up their return to full fitness with in-house friendly on Wednesday.

Dagenham & Redbridge midfielders Matthew Saunders and Kevin Maher are nearing full fitness according to boss John Still.

Saunders made a return to the first team squad on Tuesday night as an unused substitute in their 1-1 draw at Port Vale.

The 23-year-old has been ruled out for the past seven months after picking up an ankle injury celebrating his maiden goal for the club in the 1-0 win over Bradford City in March.

Ilford-based Maher has been out since the turn of the year with a foot injury that has required two operations.

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And the duo both featured in an in-house friendly on Wednesday as they step up their recovery, with Saunders likely to start at Southend United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round tie on Tuesday.

But that is still too soon for Maher who will miss out on a trip to one of his former teams.

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“It is nice to have Matthew back around the first team and both he and Kevin Maher will feature in an in-house friendly this afternoon,” said Still on Wednesday.

“It will give some of the lads who have not been playing regularly a bit of a touch though Tuesday night will be too soon for Kevin. Matthew should be in the squad for Tuesday.”

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