GINO van Kessel could be recalled to the Oxford United squad at Priestfield in the Checkatrade Trophy this evening.

The forward scored twice on his last start, against Brighton & Hove Albion Under 21s in the group stage, but has been sidelined with a hamstring issue for two months.

His wait may end against Gillingham tonight, after taking part in United’s training camp in Spain last week.

U’s boss Pep Clotet said: “Gino started training with us last week.

“I will assess how he feels fitness-wise, but if he’s available I will bring him because I think it will be positive for the squad.”

Joe Rothwell will miss the second round tie after limping out in the early stages of the 1-1 draw at Southend United ten days ago.

But the midfielder’s hamstring problem was only minor and the U’s hope to have him back in training later this week.

Xemi is suspended after collecting two bookings in the group stage, which is likely to mean a recall for Ryan Ledson.

Whoever plays, Clotet believes the squad have come back from Spain stronger.

He said: “You always feel that because when you spend time together you get to know a little bit more about everyone.

“The training was very good and they spent quality time together.”

Gillingham could make changes after drawing 1-1 with Carlisle United in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

Centre backs Ben Nugent and Alex Lacey are in contention for starts after recovering from knocks.


Gillingham: from Holy, Ehmer, Lacey, Nugent, O’Neill, Ogilvie, Wagstaff, Hessenthaler, Clare, Byrne, Eaves, Wilkinson, Cundle, Parker, Simpson, Oldaker, Martin, Zakuani, Nelson.

Oxford Utd: from Eastwood, Carroll, Martin, Mousinho, Ricardinho, Ledson, Ruffels, Henry, Payne, Mowatt, Thomas, Obika, Van Kessel, Napa, Baptiste, Tiendalli, Williamson, Shearer.