Top scorer Jon Mellish is fit and ready to return for Carlisle United, boss Chris Beech has revealed.

The midfielder is back in training after the injury that led him to miss last weekend’s win at Walsall and the previous Tuesday’s aborted encounter at Harrogate.

His availability for the return trip to Harrogate next Tuesday will further boost the United boss at a time he also has Nick Anderton and Gime Toure available again after Covid-related absences.

Beech said of Mellish: “Jon’s all good, that’s great news, and he trained yesterday.

“It’s unfortunate the game’s off tomorrow but he’s back at it, so that’s great for the squad and the lads and the competitive nature of this team.

“We may end up in the situation where we’ve got difficult choices to make, but that’s a great place to be as a manager rather than ‘how can we plug this hole when we haven’t got anybody to fill it?’

“I’d much rather be in this situation and I’m thankful they’re fit and available.”

Dean Furman and Taylor Charters have started respective games in Mellish's absence.

Anderton, meanwhile, is back from a period of self-isolation after the captain came into contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid-19.

Attacker Toure has also completed a period of isolation in line with Government guidelines after he returned from France, where he had been for a personal matter.

Beech, who will also consider a role for new signing Offrande Zanzala at Harrogate, added: “Our squad gets stronger and we have players returning. Nick Anderton and Gime Toure are available.

“We’ve got our long-standing injuries in Danny Devine and George Tanner, who’s doing great with his recovery, but the squad coming into next week is probably a good half a dozen stronger than it was a week ago.”

Beech said midfielder Devine would be out until February/March after his recent knee operation, while right-back Tanner is recovering from a shoulder injury.

Toure’s return, meanwhile, should mean a host of senior attacking options are now available, with Beech able to select from a group that includes the Frenchman, Lewis Alessandra, Omari Patrick, Joshua Kayode and Brennan Dickenson.

“We’ve got a great attacking intent with our players and squad, and we’re nearly at the point of having them all fully fit which I envisaged in August,” Beech said.

“It would be great for me to be in that position.”