Bristol City boss Dean Holden is hoping to welcome back on-loan Fulham defender Alfie Mawson in the New Year.

The 26-year-old joined on-loan from Fulham in the summer.

Having fallen out-of-contention, Fulham boss Scott Parker had no plans for Mawson upon their Premier League promotion, and so he planned a loan deal for the defender.

He joined up with Bristol City and in his first five Championship outings he’d really impress the watching fans.

But Mawson would soon pick up a knee injury – the Englishman would return to Fulham to continue his rehabilitation, before undergoing surgery.

Speaking to Bristol Live about Mawson, and Bristol City’s other sidelined centre-back Nathan Baker, Holden gave this update:

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“I would hope so [that they’re back in the New Year]. Baker was out doing some light work with the physio this morning and Mawson’s been continuing in the background with his fitness work off the back of his operation – and I would hope that we might see those two back from mid-January with the group again.”

Having started the campaign off strongly, Bristol City have since proved inconsistent.

Holden’s side go into Christmas in 9th-place of the table having lost their previous three Championship outings and without scoring in any, losing four of their last five in total.

Times look to be getting hard for Holden at Ashton Gate but with January around the corner, it could provide a much-needed pit stop for the Robins.

With incomings expected to be announced, Holden could be dealt another player boost with Mawson and Baker returning to training as well.

Mawson in particular looked a real signing, and his return could give Bristol City that extra solidity to snatch a top-six spot.