Offrande Zanzala could return to action for Carlisle United on Saturday in a bid to bolster their last-ditch play-off bid.

The striker missed out at Bolton after suffering a leg injury in last weekend’s draw with Port Vale.

Head coach Chris Beech said it was not right to risk Zanzala in the 1-0 defeat to Ian Evatt’s side.

He said the ex-Crewe man could return against Harrogate this weekend, but his fitness will be carefully assessed in the build-up.

“You need those things to go for you, see your squad strong when you come to venues like [Bolton],” said Beech.

“I’m hopeful he [Zanzala] might be right for Saturday to give us something else to think about in the squad.

“Unfortunately his leg wasn’t quite right [to be involved at Bolton].

“He’s quite confident of being fit for the weekend, but he knows games are running out too.

“You’ve got to be real careful but of course I want him involved with us.”

Beech, who selected Joshua Kayode in Zanzala's place, will also seek an update on the injury which forced Rod McDonald off early in last night’s game.

The defender went down hurt after making a clearance and walked gingerly off the pitch as Nick Anderton took his place.

Beech said it was too early to know the extent of McDonald’s problem.

He also praised Anderton for the way he stepped in at centre-half, with the captain a candidate to start in the position against Harrogate if McDonald does not make it.

United’s other centre-halves, Rhys Bennett and Morgan Feeney, are not yet ready to return after injuries.

Beech, speaking immediately after the game, said: “I haven’t caught up with Rod yet so I don’t know how he is as we speak right now.

“Obviously it wasn’t in the plan, but credit to Nick for how he played.

“I thought he was excellent. He’s played there for Blackpool briefly in League One and he added a bit going forward as well.

“He has that versatility and that’s the same with a number of the lads because that’s the type of squad we had to put together.

“We can’t stockpile two for every position, so we need players who we know can provide cover when it’s needed.

“All in all it probably didn’t really affect the outcome of the evening. I couldn’t use that as an excuse for not gaining something.”