Carlisle United manager John Sheridan has been given a quadruple fitness boost, ahead of the Blues’ visit to League Two leaders MK Dons.

Captain Danny Grainger, fellow defender Tom Parkes and playmaker Jamie Devitt have returned to training this week, with Sheridan confirming the trio will be in his 18-man squad on Saturday, while midfielder Jason Kennedy has been given permission to step-up his recovery after seeing a specialist on Tuesday.

“Devitt trained yesterday, Grainger has trained this week, and so has Parkesy,” Sheridan said.

“So, they are all back in the squad and will be available.

“Grainger has been out a while, Parkesy has been out a while, but they have had a good week of training.

“They will be good additions and add strength to the squad.”

On Kennedy’s return from a long-term pelvis problem, the Blues boss added: “It was good news, now he has to step-up.

“He has got the all-clear now to push on which is excellent news for Jason and good news for us because he will be a good addition to us.

“He was out for a long time, so we have to be careful with him, but he is feeling good [and] he is in full training now.

“He’s still playing catch-up but it was really good news for him.

“We’re looking at three weeks, probably [until he makes his full first-team comeback], at the end of the month.”

United will be looking to bounce back at Stadium MK, hoping to respond after their 2-0 FA Cup second-round loss at Lincoln last weekend.

The Dons, managed by former Exeter boss Paul Tisdale, are 13 points better off than the Cumbrians, having claimed 40 points from 20 league fixtures.

And boss Sheridan says he expects a difficult challenge as he continues to search for a cutting edge from his side.

He said: “It’s a really tough game, they are going really well. Paul Tisdale is an excellent manager. 

“They are a good footballing side, but I think it will be a good game for us. Again, it will test us.

“We were disappointed with [Lincoln] last week, but the performance wasn’t too bad. We let ourselves down in the first 10-15 minutes.

"But we competed really well against a tough team to play against. 

“Listen, throughout the season, if we took the chances that we were creating in games, we could possibly have seven points more. 

“But we don’t. We have been playing alright. 

“It’s just that cutting edge, and that demand from the players which has been missing, and I think they need to do that and believe in themselves more. 

“MK Dons is a really good game for us. 

“Big pitch, two good footballing sides and we will go there and, hopefully, compete and get a good result.”

With the January transfer window looming, Sheridan indicated Carlisle’s finances would dictate that he would have to again look in the loan market for new signings.

“Listen, when I first came in, I knew there wasn’t money to buy players,” he said.

“We’re not in a position to buy players.

"We just have to do the best we can in the loan market.”