Max Clayton's return from injury delayed
Max Clayton's return from injury delayed - image via

Bolton Wanderers have decided against bringing Max Clayton back into the first-team fold for the friendly fixture at Motherwell on Saturday afternoon, according to The Bolton News

The highly-rated 21-year-old ruptured his cruciate ligament in December, after falling awkwardly in the the goalless draw against Ipswich Town

Clayton had been due to play a part in Wanderers' trip to Fir Park, in Keith Lasley's testimonial game, however the club have backtracked on any appearance against the Scottish Premiership side. 

Instead, the former Crewe Alexandra academy graduate will play in a series of fixtures for the Trotters' Development squad, as Neil Lennon will assess his fitness ahead of a possible first-team return in the near future. 

Lennon is keen to get the young striker involved, as he looks to solve Bolton's attacking problems, with Wanderers yielding just one goal to their name so far this season - with no striker yet to get on the score-sheet for the Greater Manchester outfit. 

Lennon feels Clayton's injury frustation 

Speaking on the subject of Clayton's long-term injury, Lennon said: “It has been frustrating for him because he’s done all the hard work. He went out on the grass a couple of weeks ago and felt his knee a little bit but it’s quite solid now. “You don’t want to rush a player after a serious injury like that so we’re giving him as much time as he needs to train and come back strong.”

New signings to make their debuts 

Ahead of the trip north of the border, Bolton could hand debuts to Francesco Pisano and Jose Manuel Casado, who signed on late in the transfer window. Lennon revealed that he planned to give his squad some time off at the start of the week before they returned to training ahead of travelling North to face the Scottish side.