CHESTER'S joint manager Anthony Johnson is hoping the Blues' sizeable injury list will start to get shorter as his side enter into the crucial festive period of games.

Johnson has suggested both attacking midfielder George Green and Blues skipper Scott Burton could be ready to play before Christmas with Green's long awaited debut for the club a cause for excitement according to his patient manager.

"We haven't been overly concerned about our performances because we've played some good stuff but just looked a bit toothless in the final third," said Johnson, who watched his side return to winning ways on Saturday with a 3-1 home win against Darlington.

"We knew that would come back and we've got to replicate that performance every week because we've got bodies coming back now.

"George has completed his last three sessions and Scott is having his operation next week so they'll be back before the end of this month. All of a sudden you've got two of your star signings coming back in and we're still hoping to add another player so we're starting to look good for the second part of the season."

22-year-old Green signed for the club from Nuneaton Borough during the summer but a serious back problem has seen the highly rated former Everton prospect sidelined since the start of the season.

But as Johnson revealed, he and co-manager Bernard Morley were hoping Green would make his debut against Solihull Moors in the First Round of the FA Trophy on December 15 - a weekend that will now be free of football for the Blues after they were knocked out of the competition by Southport.

"We had him ringfenced for the 15th," said Johnson. "He was unbelievable in training on Thursday night. Robbo (Gary Roberts) and Gary Stopforth - neither have played with him before - both came up and went ‘get him in the squad on Saturday’.

"But we can’t rush it. He’s desperate and he’s chomping at the bit but what a football player this lad is. If we can get him and Scott back at a similar time going into the second half of the season, the momentum we gain with a fully fit 16, 17, 18 man squad, we’ll be flying."