Anthony Gerrard’s return to the side “might be the boost” that Chesterfield need, according to boss John Sheridan.
Gerrard, who signed for the club in the summer, has been limited to just seven league appearances this season due to injuries and he has been criticised by some Spireites fans over his weight.
But Sheridan believes they are “crying out” for his “personality” on the pitch as they aim to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat when they face Aldershot Town on Saturday, with Gerrard set to be in the matchday squad.
"He says things on the pitch what other people don't like hearing and that is what we need,” Sheridan said.
"We are crying out for it.
"I know he looks overweight.
“He is going to get outrun every now and again but he is the best footballing centre-half in the league.
"He has got the experience that we are crying out for and we have missed him.
“While we need players out on the pitch I might have to throw him in quicker than I thought but we are crying out for his personality on the pitch.
"He might be the boost that we need.”
Gerrard’s last appeance for the Blues was on October 22 in the FA Cup replay defeat to Wrexham.
Sheridan revealed on Tuesday that the centre-half was undergoing a training programme in a bid to improve his condition.
"He sees the game very well,” Sheridan said.
"If he looks overweight it does not mean he is a bad player.
"He does things that others can't do.
"He has always been overweight, he was overweight six years ago.
"He played every game at Carlisle and he was the best player there.
"He played every game for me at Oldham and he was the best player there.
"He was overweight then.
"He knows he looks overweight.
"But his football brain is better than anyone else's.
"His passing ability is as good as anyone else's.
"He reads the game as good as anyone else.
"We have got to appreciate what he might put into the team.”