DES Buckingham has been handed a major fitness boost ahead of his first game in charge of Oxford United.

The 38-year-old is preparing the side for the trip to Cheltenham Town, second from bottom in Sky Bet League One, in what will mark the beginning of his tenure as U’s head coach.

United have been without wingers Kyle Edwards and Marcus Browne due to hamstring injuries, however the duo are now nearing a return to first team action.

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Buckingham said earlier this afternoon: “Kyle Edwards has trained very well this week, so he’s got tomorrow to come through first, and if he comes through that, he’s likely to be available for selection at the weekend.

“Marcus is very close to returning. I don’t want to say he’ll be back for the weekend because we don’t know right now. If it’s not this weekend, then it’ll certainly be next.”

After arriving on deadline day, Ipswich Town loanee Edwards scored two goals in four games prior to suffering a hamstring injury during training at the end of September.

Former West Ham United and Middlesbrough man Browne meanwhile picked up his hamstring complaint during the 3-1 win at Barnsley back in August.