CHRIS Powell says there is no return date yet for injured defender Chris Solly.

The full-back has been on the sidelines since late August after picking up a knee injury and remains some way off a return to first team action.

But although reluctant to put a definitive time on when Charlton’s star player will be back, Valley boss Powell this morning confirmed it should at the very least be before Christmas.

He said: “It is a knee injury where I’ve always been told if we rush him, because obviously I want him available to play for us, but if we rush him he could be out for a lot longer.

“So it is a little bit of rest, strengthening up around his knee, keeping him mobile, making sure he gets the right treatment and he does the right things so we are taking our time with him.

“He is managing the situation really well and the medical department are.

“It will be a number of weeks still until he will be available for me and available to play.

“I would envisage he would be back before Christmas but I’m not a doctor or a physio.”

Charlton return to Championship action at Blackburn on Saturday following the international break and the manager admitted the respite had been beneficial on several fronts.

Powell said: “The two weeks has been good for various reasons.

“We had a really good game at West Ham for the players and it went really well and it allowed us to have a bit of a break after the two positive draws, because the performances, especially against Forest, were good.

“It kind of made everybody believe that we can do and can perform at this level but it has been tough no doubt so far.

“But the players have worked really hard, we’ve worked on a number of different things, we’re in decent spirits.

“Chris Solly we will not see.

“Leon Cort is now just doing some light training, some running, but Yann and Johnnie Jackson do have a chance.

“It is touch and go, I’ve got to weigh it up.

“They are two top players for this football club and I’d rather see them out on the grass wearing the red and white of Charlton, but we tried to do it with Yann before at Burnley and it didn’t work.

“We are making sure now that he is fit and raring to go because we need players of John and Yann’s calibre in our team.

“There is a good chance for both of them.”

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