BEN Purkiss is set to return from injury when Oxford United take on Oxford City at Court Place Farm tonight (7.45).

The 26-year-old right back, signed in the summer from York, has not played since suffering a groin injury during their pre-season tour of Scotland which saw him miss their pre-season games against Livingston, Leicester and Manchester United.

But U’s assistant manager Mickey Lewis stressed yesterday that they would not be taking any chances over any of their first-team squad, all of whom will feature.

“We’re hopeful about Ben playing,” he said.

“He’s been working hard with the physio (Jon Brown), but if there is any doubt over his fitness – or anyone else – then we won’t risk him.”

The only absentees will be midfielder Simon Clist, who is still recovering from a hernia operation, Rhys Day, who is out for six weeks with a knee injury, and Jake Wright, who suffered a back spasm against Leicester.

Wright is optimistic he will be back for the League Two opener against Burton a week tomorrow.

“The back will be fine, it’s not as bad as we first feared,” he said.

“When I did it some people thought it might be a hamstring injury, but it was a back spasm.

“So I won’t be playing against City. I have been training and running, but I’m going to leave it for a few more days.”

City are likely to parade new signings Billy Beechers (Abingdon United), Dan Holman (Long Buckby), Olly Burgess (Corby Town), Craig McIllwain (Brackley Town) and Tommy Kinch (Woodford United). They are without Jack Ashton (knee injury).

Ford added: “They’ve all done great in pre-season and this is their big chance to show what they can do against better players.”