Chris McCann has stepped up his rehabilitation in the last couple of weeks with two reserve team appearances and a return to the first team might just be closer than anyone had dared hope. He came on as a substitute in the reserve team's defeat at home to Oldham a week last Wednesday, playing the last 40 minutes, and he stepped that up by playing the first 62 minutes of this week's win over Morecambe reserves.He's now been pencilled in for a potential full game on Monday when we host Macclesfield and manager Eddie Howe said: "Chris did very well on Tuesday and will improve with every game."He came through with no ill-effects, and stepped his playing time up to an hour. There are positive signs that he is getting closer to a first team return. He has to get 90 minutes under his belt first, and have confidence in his fitness."When he comes back, he would have to be able to do himself and the team justice; we will only put him back when the time is right. But we have been impressed, he is a naturally fit lad; he can certainly run, and it is a case of getting his game sharpness up to speed."I don't think it will take long, the quality is still in there, it's a case of getting that explosiveness back."Howe also confirmed what had been said by Brian Laws earlier in the season that there would be a new contract on the table for McCann whose existing deal comes to an end at the of this season. "We would love Chris to stay," said Howe.With Jay Rodriguez having recently signed a new deal it leaves McCann as one of four members of the first team squad who are out of contract this summer. The other three are Wade Elliott, Kevin McDonald and Steven Thompson.Also out of contract are eight of the nine members of the development squad - namely Chris Anderson, Wes Fletcher, Alex-Ray Harvey, Michael King, Dominic Knowles, Nik Kudiersky, Chris Lynch and Alex MacDonald.One other player whose sees his contract comes to an end is Remco van der Schaaf who has been out on loan at Brøndby since January 2010.