THE turn of the year could spell different fortunes for two of Swindon Town’s defenders.

Skipper Nathan Thompson is on course for a January return to the side while Jordan Williams’ time at the club could be up as Martin Ling suggests the Liverpool loanee could have his deal cut short.

Thompson has been out of action with a troublesome groin injury he aggravated during Town’s 1-0 defeat at home to Burton Albion in mid-September.

Swindon have been cautious in the 24-year-old’s rehabilitation having seen the consequences of bringing him back too early during the League One play-off final with Preston.

Thompson, who has spent a period at the FA’s St George’s Park complex during his recovery, underwent another scan last week and Ling said that he is pleased with the results.

“Nathan’s scan is where we expected. The injury is healing nicely,” he said.

“He has probably got another two weeks before he gets back into full time training so it is a build-up now from the physio before we get him on the grass.

“Then it is about getting some training time into his legs and then some match time into his legs if we can before the new year.

“It is probably going to be the new year (before Thompson returns), because it is the second time he has had that injury but the scan result was very pleasing.

“It will make us be more conscious about having it right. The physio is very happy with the scan but the fact that it is the second time he has had it will give us a little bit more caution.

“While things are going well we can afford to be a bit more cautious.

“He hasn’t been involved for me but he is outstanding and is the captain of the club.

“He would be another component for us to improve us and help us.”

Meanwhile the future of Williams has been thrown into doubt after Ling indicated that they plan to cancel his season-long loan in January.

The 20-year-old has not featured since the draw at Doncaster Rovers at the end of September, having suffered with fluid on the knee.

Williams has struggled with his recovery and, with Town having more loan players than can be fielded for a game, he may be the one to be sacrificed.

“I think all the season-long loans, my understanding is there is a break period in January that you can make a decision on them,” added Ling when asked about Williams’ future.

“The boy that is injured long term I would say pretty much is going to be broken.”