Skipper Danny Grainger could make a quick return to the first-team reckoning for Carlisle United at Chesterfield this weekend.

The defender, who missed Saturday's draw with Notts County through injury, took a full part in training yesterday.

Grainger was involved in the open session which was watched by young fans as part of the club's Junior Blues open day.

The Cumbrian could now make a quick comeback in time for Keith Curle's side to take on League Two's bottom side.

The Blues manager has not commented on the injury that forced Grainger to miss United's last game, having been suspended for the previous encounter with Wycombe.

Tom Miller has filled the left-back slot in the captain's absence.

Gary Liddle, meanwhile, missed yesterday's session.

The defender's wife is due to give birth this weekend.

It is unclear at this stage whether Liddle's involvement against the Spireites will be in any doubt.

Curle has Tom Parkes back from a four-game suspension but has warned that no player can expect a guaranteed place.

"There's a number of players [who have been unavailable recently] who will be available for selection soon," Curle said.

"Everybody that plays has to earn the right. Reputations don't get you shirts and in starting line-ups.

"Performances on Saturdays, and how players conduct themselves and perform through the week gives them the opportunity to be available for selection."

On United's defence, Curle added: "Gary Liddle, Tom Miller, James Brown, Jack Bonham, Clint Hill - they are getting an understanding but that's come from work on the training ground."

Veteran Hill was also excused from yesterday's session as he continues his coaching qualifications.

Injured midfielder Jason Kennedy was also missing.

But John O'Sullivan and Kelvin Etuhu were on the training ground and mostly away from the main group as they continued their comebacks from injury.

United's recent defensive shortage saw youth defender Aidan Hutchinson in the squad on Saturday, and the 18-year-old again trained with the first-team yesterday.

Curle, though, would not be drawn on whether he would consider recalling Mark Ellis from his two-month loan at Leyton Orient after the first 28 days, with that point coming later this week.

Ellis returned from a broken nose for the National League side last Saturday and has made four appearances for the London club so far.

Curle said: "Exactly when the date comes up then it's a decision to be made then - there isn't a need to make it right at this minute.

"One of the reasons we let Mark go was because he needed game time. He's there, performing, getting games.

"We've not got big numbers defensively but we've got quality, and with Danny and Tom to come back into the fold it will give us competition and balance."