New Mansfield Town defender George Taft is well on course to regain full fitness after a serious knee injury saw him miss much of last season.
The giant 22-year-old centre half was on loan at Cambridge from Burton Albion when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a league match against Yeovil Town last October.
But he is now feeling good and showed how imposing he can be in last weekend’s 4-3 friendly win at Carlton Town when he played 61 minutes with no ill effects.
“He was superb,” said boss Adam Murray. “We were all chuffed to bits for Tafty to come back and get his first minutes on the pitch.
“He was only due to play half an hour, but he felt comfortable.
“He’s been looking strong in training – he’s doing everything in training – and he hasn’t missed a day yet.”
Murray continued: “We will do the same with him what we did with Greeny (Matt Green) last year and Blairy (Matty Blair). We will break him in and make sure it’s right for him.
“But I think at Carlton he showed what a good asset he’s going to be. He can defend and his range of passing is top drawer. I think he improves us from last year.”
Taft is a former England U18 and U19 international who came through Leicester City’s Academy.