Noel's in the Hunt for ipswich return
IRELAND international Noel Hunt is ready to make a shock return from injury in time to aid Ipswich Town in their bid to reach the Premier League.
Hunt, 32, had been on form for Mick McCarthy's side since his move from Leeds United but he suffered a serious knee injury during their Championship win over Fulham in February and he was initially ruled out for the rest of the season.
But the Waterford man is back in light training and he says he could now play a role for the club, who are in with a chance of a place in the promotion playoffs.
Hunt is unlikely to be available in the short term but he could feature in their final two games of the regular season - at home to Nottingham Forest and away to Blackburn - as well as the playoffs.
"I really thought I would be out of action for at least three months but I am back cycling at the moment and I think I will be fit for the tail end of the season," Hunt said.
"I am feeling stronger every day and I am happy with the way things are going. I would love to be playing now, especially following the victories against Bolton and Watford. If we can beat Bournemouth on Good Friday I believe we could make the top two.
"There are a lot of twists and turns to come yet and with most of the top teams playing each other and we will be right there on the last day of the season.
"The Bournemouth match is massive, we know that but now that the confidence is back following the last minute win over Watford the lads are more than capable of beating them."
Hunt had scored three goals in 11 games for Ipswich since joining them from Leeds, initially on loan, and boss McCarthy is a big fan of the former Reading forward.
The striker, along with his older brother Stephen and the new Ireland recruit David McGoldrick have all been sldelined by injury in recent weeks but McGoldrick is back in training and could be involved for Town over their Easter programme. McGoldrick has missed the club's last 11 games with an injury which also kept him out of the Ireland squad for last week's European Chanpionship draw with Poland.