Oxford United midfielder Paul McLaren could make his long-awaited comeback from a calf injury against Shrewsbury tonight.

Although the former Tranmere man won’t start, U’s boss Chris Wilder said he could play some part.

“McLaren is really close,” said Wilder. “He will be involved on Tuesday and definitely Sunday (away to Swindon).

“He’s important to us in terms of experience and quality.”

Meanwhile, United hope that striker Tom Craddock will not require an operation on his injured knee.

Craddock hasn’t played a full game in pre-season.

Wilder said: “Tom is seeking a second opinion from a specialist in London, to see if he does need an operation.”