The former Ipswich Town Academy product has missed the Blues’ last three matches after suffering the problem in the warm-up at Kingstonian but he is expected to line up at the heart of their defence tonight.
His return could not be better timed with Greg Crane serving the last of a three-match suspension whilst Sam Gaughran also faces a period on the sidelines after pulling his hamstring in the win over Bury.
“Sam’s (injury) is not looking good at the moment,” admitted joint boss Micky Chapman, whose side must win this evening to keep up the pressure on leaders Whitehawk. “Curtley’s (hamstring) is just tight and we are hoping he will be back. He did it in the warm-up at Kingstonian and we had to pull him out of the starting line-up.
“He wasn’t ready for Saturday or against Bury but it’s improving and we are hopeful he will be good to go again.”
Lowestoft’s shortage at the back due to injuries and suspension has been eased in recent weeks by the return of Dan Gleeson, who has shown no ill-effects since returning from back surgery.
“He’s a quality player and he’s made a big difference,” said Chapman. “We’ve got him back at a crucial time as well.
“It took longer that we anticipated for him to recover from his operation before Christmas but he’s back now and he’s looking really strong.
“He has shown us how versatile he is. He can play in midfield or anywhere across the back four and he helps to boss the game for us.
“He’s got a good head on his shoulders – he’s played at a good level and we’re glad he’s back and helping us achieve what we want to achieve.”
Lowestoft’s win at Bury ensured they kept pace with their promotion rivals and three more points this evening would crank up the pressure on Whitehawk, who are 15 points clear of the Blues having played six games more.
But Thurrock will be as desperate for victory as Lowestoft with the Essex outfit involved in a fight against relegation.
Chapman and the rest of the management team have done their homework on Mark Stimson’s men and revealed they are expecting a physical battle.
“It’s another shift we’ve got to put in,” he added. “We know a bit about them – we try to get a report on every single team we play against this year.
“To date that has happened and we will make sure that happens between now and the end of the season.
“It helps you – we know they are a physical team and if we’re not at it then we’re going to get hurt.”