Gavin Rae has made a miraculous recovery to be in contention for Cardiff's home clash against promotion rivals Blackpool.

The midfielder was ruled out for up to four weeks after breaking two bones in his hand during the 4-4 draw at Peterborough just 11 days ago, but he has now had his plaster cast removed and should get the go-ahead by a specialist.

His return provides manager Dave Jones with a major midfield boost with Stephen McPhail not yet ready to return after treatment for lymph node cancer and Riccy Scimeca having retired.

Last weekend's FA Cup trip to Bristol City was postponed due to the wintry conditions and that has handed striker Jay Bothroyd (knee), midfielder Joe Ledley (hip) and full-backs Kevin McNaughton (hamstring) and Mark Kennedy (calf) plenty of time to recover.

Defenders Tony Capaldi and Darren Dennehy, midfielder Darcy Blake and striker Warren Feeney have all returned to the club from loan spells elsewhere and will be competing for a place in Jones' matchday 18.

Ian Holloway's Blackpool side currently lie just three points behind fourth-placed Cardiff with a game in hand as the race for a play-off spot gathers pace.

Blackpool may hand on-loan defender Andy Butler a debut. The centre-half, 26, will go straight into contention for the weekend after joining on loan until the end of the season, helping to offset the losses of Ian Evatt and Rob Edwards due to suspension.

Evatt and Edwards were both sent off during last weekend`s FA Cup third-round defeat to Ipswich and now serve bans.

Butler could handed a starting role against the Bluebirds and youngster Ashley Eastham also comes into contention after the Seasiders recalled him from his loan spell at League Two outfit Cheltenham.

But striker Billy Clarke is still missing with a knee injury and attacking midfielder Hameur Bouazza is away on international duty with Algeria.

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