SAM Long is two weeks away from a return to first team football, Oxford United head coach Des Buckingham has revealed.

Right back Long suffered an ankle injury inside the opening few minutes of United’s 2-0 win at Lincoln City on October 31.

His absence has allowed Brentford loanee Fin Stevens a regular run of games on the right-hand side of the U’s defence, while midfielder Oisin Smyth was tested at right back in the midweek win against Forest Green Rovers in the EFL Trophy.

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Providing an update on Long’s fitness, Buckingham said: “Sam’s about two weeks away. Fin’s played there and played well, and we tried Oisin there the other night against Forest Green Rovers, just to make sure if we need to, we have back-up for Fin, and we have James Golding of course.

“We now have different options to explore, but Sam’s two weeks away and he’ll be very much welcome back into the team.”