The Gas welcome Peterborough United to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday and they will be boosted by the return of their striker. The 25-year-old has scored six goals in 19 appearances this season.
Loft has missed the last three games after being substituted in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. The striker started at Hillsborough but complained of a hamstring issue that forced him off. He missed the games against Derby, Rochdale in the FA Cup and the most recent fixture against Fleetwood Town.
“He’s back training,” said Barton when asked about his status. “He got through training fine today and it gives us another nice option.”
There is positive news on Paul Coutts and Harry Anderson, who are back at the Quarters training ground. Club captain Coutts injured his ankle in training at the end of last month and was forced to use crutches, whilst donning a protective boot.
Coutts spent time at home in Aberdeen with his family as he recuperated. He has since returned to Bristol and is stepping up his recovery. The original prognosis ruled the former Fleetwood midfielder out until the New Year.
Harry Anderson suffered a foot injury in the draw with Sheffield Wednesday, having replaced Loft. The right winger has missed the last three matches, but there is not a specific time frame on when he could return.
“There is still a big question mark over the return date,” Barton admitted. “They both feel a lot better than what the return dates were.
“It’s good news in that way, albeit we haven’t got anything concrete. Harry has been on the treadmill today, so he is moving.”
“Couttsy, I have seen him walking around today and yesterday without his boot. He had a couple of weeks with his family.”