Chris Beech has praised the attitude of long-term injury victims Kelvin Etuhu and Josh Dixon – but would not put a timescale on their return to Carlisle United action.

Experienced midfielder Etuhu and first-year pro Dixon have both been sidelined for several months.

Etuhu has not returned since suffering a severe hamstring tear against Grimsby last April, while midfielder Dixon suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in pre-season.

Beech said he would like to see Etuhu, who had an impressive campaign for United last term, back in the side before the end of this season.

But the head coach stopped short of saying when either player might be back.

He said: “One thing I’d like to say about both those players is they’ve been so professional.

“Supporting those players at times can be very difficult but, in terms of almost managing themselves, through Dolly [physio Neil Dalton] looking over their plans, but they’ve been excellent.

“I constantly see them in the gym, doing their specific things.

“[In terms of time], you’d like to put a date on it, but it’s how their bodies respond to improving and going to the next phase of rehab.

“If they end up sprinting, etc, that could then either step up or step back where they are.

“Until that gets to that point, I think we shouldn’t look at the date.

“I’ve heard lots of good things about Josh, and I know Kelvin from him playing against Rochdale in the past, so it would be great to see him in a Carlisle shirt before the end of the season.”

Shortly after his injury, United gave teenager Dixon - 19 today - a new contract which keeps him at the club until the end of next season.

That gives the midfielder the opportunity to bounce back and re-establish his promising career at Brunton Park.

Etuhu, 31, sees his deal expire at the end of this campaign.