Paul Simpson has explained the plan for Georgie Kelly amid the striker’s delayed return to Carlisle United action.

Kelly has not been in full training yet in pre-season and will miss United’s second friendly at Kendal Town tonight.

Manager Simpson said the Irish frontman is being handled carefully after he felt some discomfort in his calf during his close-season fitness programme.

United’s boss said Carlisle are doing all they can to ensure the former Rotherham United man is fit and ready to play a full part in the new season, rather than risk a repeat of the problems that affected his first half-season in Cumbria in 2023/24.

“Depending how he goes over the next few weeks, I would imagine he'll probably join full training in St Andrews,” said Simpson, referring to their training camp in Scotland which is set to start on July 15.

“That's what I'm hopeful of, so whether or not [he will return to action in] the St Mirren game [on July 19], we're just going to wait and see.

“My big thing about pre-season is making sure everybody's fit for August 10, and that's what we're trying to do.

“We obviously know that Callum Guy and Jack Robinson aren't going to be, but we hope that the rest will be.”

Guy and Robinson are working their way back from knee and ankle injuries respectively.

The former has been back on the grass running in the latest stages of his recovery from an ACL injury.

Robinson, meanwhile, is targeting a return in the early stages of the new campaign having suffered a stress fracture of his ankle late in the 2023/24 campaign.

Simpson’s United take on Jimmy Marshall’s Kendal in their second friendly of the summer this evening, having beaten Penrith 8-0 on Friday in their first pre-season outing.