Watford's head of medical has reiterated there is still no time frame for Almen Abdi's return but says there is good news regarding Tommie Hoban.

Abdi has not played since August 31 due to a foot injury and initial hopes he would return in mid-September and then in early November were ended when he suffered minor set-backs.

Abdi is suffering with Plantar Fasciitis, which has resulted in the inflammation of his plantar.

The plantar fascia is a tough and flexible band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot and connects the heel bone with the bones of the foot, acting as a kind of shock absorber.

The problem can occur through sudden damage or over months and years. It can cause tiny tears to develop inside the tissue of the plantar fascia and this can lead to it thickening, resulting in heel pain, and the surrounding tissue and heel bone can also sometimes become inflamed.

Abdi is still training most days but rarely with the rest of the Watford players.

The club were keen to stress several months ago that the previous set-backs suffered by Abdi meant they would not be issuing a time frame for the influential midfielder's return.

And yesterday (Thursday), Marco Cesarini, the Hornets' head of medical, said: "He hasn’t had any set-backs but it’s the kind of injury where for two days you can have improvement and then on the third day you have pain again or soreness.

"We have to take it step by step. It’s not easy because one day it can be good and the next day it can be worse. But there are some positives around him.

"We cannot predict when he will come back. We are still in the situation where we have to monitor the situation day by day.

"He can have small sessions but he cannot yet take part in a full session with the squad."

One player who is close to a return after long-term injury is Hoban.

Hoban became an integral part of the Hornets’ defence last season despite being just 19 years old, making 18 consecutive starts between late September and New Year’s Day.

The Republic of Ireland Under-19 international damaged his Achilles in January and although he returned for one game in February, he missed the rest of the season with the problem.

The Watford Academy graduate visited specialists across the world and it was decided he would have surgery in the USA in late April.

Cesarini said: "We are very happy about him. We are close and we think in the next two weeks he could join the squad for a full training session."

Watford have no fresh injury worries for tomorrow (Saturday's) match.

Fernando Forestieri is still out with a knee injury and so is Ikechi Anya, who has a groin problem.

Daniel Pudil will definitely miss the match with a hamstring injury while Davide Faraoni is also ruled out with an ankle problem.

Like Abdi and Hoban, Essaid Belkalem (ankle) is a long-term absentee.

Sannino said: "At the moment they (Forestieri and Anya) are not available for the next game because I need fully fit players.

"I don’t want to rush the players to be fit for one game and then have an injury because they came back maybe one day too early."