HARRISON McGahey could make his long awaited Latics debut against former club Rochdale on Saturday, after having his registration issues resolved.

The defender initially signed a two-year deal in the summer as one of Keith Curle’s first recruits.

But the length of contract was disputed by the English Football League under the terms of their loan agreement with Oldham and subsequent transfer embargo the club was placed under.

In a similar predicament to goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler, the club have been in renegotiations with the player.

Leutwiler’s revised contract was finalised ahead of the trip to Sutton United, where the former Blackburn Rovers keeper helped Latics to their first - and so far only - win of the season.

McGahey’s situation has taken longer to sort, but The Oldham Times understands it has finally been resolved, with the EFL ratifying the agreement yesterday.

That means McGahey, who celebrates his 26th birthday on Sunday, is in line to make his debut at Spotland against the club he made over 100 appearances for between 2016 and 2019.

It is a welcome boost, and relief, for head coach Curle, who has seen his squad decimated by injury in the opening weeks of the season, and had 15 players unavailable as Latics suffered a 7-0 thrashing at Premier League newcomers Brentford in the Carabao Cup third round on Tuesday night.

Striker Hallam Hope is the latest casualty, while captain Carl Piergianni played at the heart of the defence despite also struggling with a knock.

Curle, who could only name four substitutes - highlighting just how hard his squad has been hit, said: "They were the only bodies that were available.

“Piergianni shouldn't have played, as simple as that. He's carrying an injury, carrying a knock, but he's desperate to play, an opportunity to play against a Premier League club at a new stadium. We needed to try to protect him and after two minutes he gets exposed, movement across him, bang. Penalty. Then you're thinking 'damage limitation I need to get him off'.”

Curle withdrew Piergianni at the break, along with Dylan Bahamboula and Zak Dearnley, in an effort to protect them ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash at Rochdale.

"I know we've got a game against Rochdale. I need Dylan Bahamboula, I need Piergianni, and Zak Dearnley. I've got one fit striker in the building at the minute,” he said.

"We're thin on the ground, we've been knocked down and booted by everybody, but we're still breathing and we're still able to get up and we will do.”