Jack Lester says Ian Evatt is not yet ready for a return to first team action.
The centre-half is back in full training and will travel with the squad to Morecambe tomorrow night, but not to take part in the match.
Lester is pleased that the 36-year-old is ahead of schedule and striving to return to the team following a knee problem and subsequent surgery.
But he’s just not fit for selection, yet, in the manager’s view.
“He’s not ready yet, is the bottom line,” he said on the veteran.
“You only have to listen to my interviews since I’ve been at the club, my opinion on Ian Evatt is as high as anybody’s.
“If I felt Ian Evatt was ready to play, he’d play.
“He’s not ready yet.”
Lester has previously stated that it would reach a stage where it was worth risking the defender due to the club’s situation and the lack of fixtures left to secure survival.
According to Lester the season has not yet reached that point, but with seven games remaining the club are doing everything possible to prepare Evatt for a comeback.
“I can’t say anymore, I had a chat with him today, we’re trying to get him in an 11 v 11, we are going to get him some time to get his distances,” he told the Derbyshire Times.
“He’s way ahead of where he should have been, we shouldn’t really have him this season, it was going to be May but he’s accelerated it, had an injection to get there.
“He’s doing everything he can, the fitness coach has a program for him that’s been set in place for a month and we keep altering it to his progress.
“It’s no stone left unturned when it comes to Ian Evatt and his fitness. He’s just not ready yet.
“If he was ready he’d put pressure on the lads to play.”
Evatt was injured in Town’s pre-Christmas trip to Stevenage.