Darren Purse is in the running for return against Gillingham
ARGYLE captain and centre-back Darren Purse is 'in contention' for the visit of League Two leaders Gillingham to Home Park tomorrow.
Purse has been ruled out of the last three matches after he had an injection to try to relieve the pain of a persistent toe injury.
The 35-year-old has now returned to training and manager Carl Fletcher must decide whether to recall him against Gillingham.
Curtis Nelson has deputised for the absent Purse, playing alongside stand-in skipper Maxime Blanchard, in the centre of defence.
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Nelson, 19, put in a strong performance for Argyle in their game against Burton Albion on Wednesday, which they lost 2-1 despite taking the lead with a goal from Paris Cowan-Hall in the 49th minute.
Burton boast one of the best strikers in League Two in 6ft 3in Calvin Zola but he was not a factor in the match because of the close attention he received from Nelson.
The young Pilgrims defender also had a good game in the 1-0 defeat at Rotherham United on October 27.
So Purse, despite all his experience, is not guaranteed an immediate return to the starting line-up against Gillingham.
Fletcher said: "Darren has been training the last few days.
"He had been out for over two weeks so it would have been a bit much to throw him straight back in (against Burton), but he's in contention for a place tomorrow."
Experienced midfielder Paul Wotton is still sidelined after a back operation for a nerve problem.
The 35-year-old is aiming for a return to action in early December. He has not played since the 3-1 home defeat by Port Vale on September 15.
Left-back Robbie Williams is also 'another couple of weeks' away from being available for selection, according to Fletcher, after a stomach muscle injury.
His last appearance for Argyle came when they lost 2-1 to AFC Wimbledon on October 6.
Fletcher also confirmed striker Nick Chadwick was fit, even though he has not been selected in the squad of 18 for the past couple of matches.
His place on the substitutes' bench has been taken by 17-year-old apprentice prospect Tyler Harvey.
Meanwhile, Fletcher was set to make a decision on whether to play Alex MacDonald against Gillingham after further talks with the 22-year-old.
MacDonald was substituted after only 28 minutes of the defeat by Burton and Fletcher later explained the Burnley loanee had learned of the death of his grandmother that morning.
Fletcher thought that had taken its toll on MacDonald, and his performance, and was the reason why he was replaced by Cowan-Hall before the half-hour mark.
Fletcher said: "I will see how he's feeling and go from there. I'm not going to make him do anything he doesn't want to do.
"As long as his mind is right, he will be in contention to play tomorrow.
"I spoke to Alex (before the game against Burton) and he said he was fine to play but you could see he wasn't fully there, mentally, which is understandable.
"Taking the football side out of it, the right thing to do was to let him come off and get his head right."
Fletcher has also explained the decision to play Onismor Bhasera at left-back against Burton rather than Scott Griffiths, the loan signing from Peterborough United.
Griffiths, 26, had started at left-back for the previous six matches, but was only on the bench on Wednesday as Bhasera moved from midfield to replace him.
Fletcher said: "Scott has had a lot of games recently and has done great since he came in.
"He hadn't played a lot before he came here so it was a case of taking the foot off the gas, so to speak, and having a little breather."
Griffiths' loan to Argyle will end after the away game against Bradford City on Tuesday, November 20.