Dougie Freedman confirmed that Millwall failed in an effort to take the big striker on loan during December because he was still working his way back to full fitness after a succession of niggling injuries.
His last start for the club came in August, against today’s opponents Nottingham Forest, but he has not been since in a Wanderers shirt since coming on as a substitute, against Millwall, in November.
Freedman insists the Wales international, who became his first permanent signing at the Reebok when he came in from Barnsley for £300,000 a year ago, is not being forced out of the door.
“Is he up for loan? I’d say no,” the manager said. “But if he gets frustrated at not getting a game and he needs to play then maybe I’d look at it.
“Craig is back running around for us and training but I think because Jermaine Beckford hit a bit of form and so did Andre Moritz, he just needs to be patient.
“How long can he do that for? I don’t know. But that’s where we are right now.”
On the opposite end of the scale is Tyrone Mears, who has been told he can leave on loan, but who remains in limbo at present.
It is understood the full-back is fit enough to play but has not been included in Freedman’s first team since the end of August.
Alex Baptiste knocked the ex-Burnley man down the pecking order when he arrived on a free transfer in the summer and hopes are high Joe Riley can return to full fitness to compete for a place.
That leaves Mears with little option at present but to wait until the summer when his contract at the club expires.
“There have been no offers for Tyrone,” Freedman confirmed. “We have circulated information to say that he’s available on loan but we’ve had no phone calls for him or any of my players in the last couple of weeks.”