Curtis Weston is expected to return to Gillingham`s starting line-up for the visit of Stockport.

The midfielder missed the defeat at Huddersfield last weekend for family reasons.

On-loan striker Febian Brandy could also play some part in the game after making an early return from a thigh strain.

Simon Locke, another loan signing, will go straight into the squad. The young goalkeeper has arrived on a month-long deal from Reading and will provide cover on the bench for Alan Julian, who is set to continue in the side in the absence of Simon Royce.

Royce faces a month out after sustaining knee and neck injuries in a car accident.

Defender Josh Gowling serves the second of a three-match ban while fellow centre-half Garry Richards is recovering after undergoing exploratory knee surgery this week.

Stockport defender Michael Rose will play through the pain barrier.

Rose was due to go under the surgeon's knife this week to correct a hernia problem but has now decided to delay the operation and make himself available to face the Gills.

Skipper Michael Raynes, who missed the 4-0 FA Cup defeat by Torquay in midweek, could also return but on-loan Reading striker Nicholas Bignall is ruled out for a second successive game because of a knee problem.

Fellow loanee Liam Bridcutt is also struggling with a knee injury sustained against Torquay and has returned to parent club Chelsea for treatment.

Carl Baker will again be absent as he serves the second instalment of a three-match ban for his red card against Charlton last weekend.

Christian Ribeiro and Matty McNeil, both ineligible against Torquay, will make a welcome return to the squad.

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