Andy Hessenthaler is confident injured summer signing Adam Birchall will make his Gillingham debut before the end of the season.

Birchall sustained a long-term knee injury during the summer following his move from Dover, but Hessenthaler has confirmed the former Barnet striker is making good progress.

Hessenthaler told the Kent Messenger: "I'd like to stay positive and say yes, (he will play this season)."

He added: "He will be positive so let's keep our fingers crossed that's the case.

"He has got his brace off now and is very sprightly around the place.

"The physios are pleased with his progress, we won't rush him back, but he is going nicely at the moment."

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