Beatts edging closer

Last updated : 13 August 2008 By Jamie Furniss

The former Everton striker was talking to a set of fans at Birmingham on Saturday and revealed that he is only three weeks away to full fitness. Beattie could make his first appearance of the campaign at the end of this month at the earliest but if not it may be early September.

Gaffer Kevin Blackwell said: "He's making terrific progress and is well ahead of the programme he was given by the medical experts. But he is wanting to whack every ball in training and we are aware that he could rush through too quickly so we will assess him properly.

"Without wanting to tempt fate, we could be looking at him being ready by the end of this month or the beginning of September."

Beattie scored 22 goals last season and finished third in the top goal scorers list. Pressure may mount of Beattie if his fellow strikers continue not to perform. The front men may not be performing because of the service from midfield so that area may need to be checked.