Oxford United have no plans to make a move in the loan market as key players return from injury to strengthen the side for their automatic promotion push.

The window for temporary signings re-opened last weekend and will last until March 27.

But the U’s are not intending to do any business as their squad is due to be boosted by the return of seven injured first-team players.

Mickey Lewis clinched a loan move for David Connolly on deadline day last month.

After getting his top target, the caretaker manager has not lined up anyone else and is hoping the returning group means new faces will not be necessary for the rest of the campaign.

“There were a few irons in the fire near the deadline in case the Connolly move didn’t come off,” he said.

“We are monitoring the injury situation and seeing how that develops.

“We have some good players to come back, so at the moment we’re OK.”

The exception is back-up goalkeeper Jonathan Henly, who extended his loan from Reading for an extra month yesterday.

Alfie Potter was the first member of the sidelined group to return. The winger was a surprise inclusion among the substitutes in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers.

While the 25-year-old, who has been out since November with an ankle injury, had only completed one full training session, his presence alone boosted the squad.

Midfielder Danny Rose said: “It’s a massive lift to see him. He trained on Friday and was brilliant.

“Obviously, starting a game was out of the question as it was too soon, but there’s no midweek game, which is important for him, so he can get a good week’s training under his belt.

“We have a lot of games coming up, especially in March, so hopefully he will be fighting fit for the run-in.”

Michael Raynes and Ryan Williams are also close to fitness.

Four others, including skipper Jake Wright, are making good progress.

It is timely for the U’s, who are involved in a tight race for automatic promotion heading into the final third of the campaign.

Rose added: “Our squad is only going to get stronger in the next few weeks, they are good quality players at this level.

“I don’t think many other teams have as many injuries as us, especially to key players. It bodes well.”