FREDERIC Veseli may have nailed down his position on the right of the Bury defence, but the on-loan defender could soon be challenged by a forgotten Shakers favourite.

Phil Picken was not expected to figure for Bury this season after rupturing knee ligaments in a freak training accident during pre-season.

But the 28-year-old full-back has made good progress in the gym and recently resumed training with the first-team squad.

“We have got to get six or seven (reserve) games under his belt, but I am praying we will be able to utilise him for the last 10 games of the season,” said manager David Flitcroft.

His return may come a little too late for the Bury boss, with Veseli’s loan from Ipswich due to run out on February 22.

But even if he has to bring in another replacement, Flitcroft is confident Picken will soon be ready to challenge for a first-team spot.

“We are not going to rush it,” added Flitcroft, mindful Picken was on the comeback trail from a similar injury, sustained playing against Notts County in September, 2012, when he suffered a recurrence.

“It was a horrendous injury and we have got a duty of care to the player, but he has been incredible in training and it’s great to have him around.”