If Tranmere didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all. Just five days away from a play-off semi-final, and the injuries and absentees appear to be mounting-up once again.
Tranmere’s promotion bid was sabotaged by a host of injuries last season, including a broken leg for James Vaughan, a long-term knee injury for Ben Tollitt and even another injury for James Wallace during the play-off semis as he really began to hit form.
Twelve months on, and it all feels just a bit too familiar.
Ben Tollitt is out once again, James Wallace in a race against time to be fit while the likes of Adam Buxton, Andy Cook and Connor Jennings all have doubts hanging over them as Rovers head in to a crucial week – or hopefully two week – period.
Here is the latest on Tranmere’s walking wounded.
There is a lot of concern among fans right now for Connor following Micky Mellon’s revelation after the Hartlepool game on Saturday that the midfielder is hospitalised. The man who scored Tranmere’s goal at Wembley last season and has nine goals and seven assists this season is now a real doubt for the play-offs.
As of yet, there has been no official word on his condition or what he has been struck down with. Every Tranmere fan will wish Connor a speedy recovery, regardless of what’s going on from a football perspective, his health is more important.
Right back Adam Buxton has been one of Tranmere’s star performers this season, pushing Andy Cook all the way for the Player of the Year award. The tough scouser has been exceptional, however, typically has picked up an injury in recent weeks.
Again, no specific confirmation what the injury is, however it is relating to his stomach. He sat out the game against Hartlepool on Saturday in which Jay Harris deputised at right back, but you’d imagine Bucko will be doing all he can to play his part on Saturday.
Midfielder James Wallace has once again had the cruellest of injury luck this season. The former Sheffield United man is now fit again we understand, however, he remains a long way short of match fitness – or certainly match practise. He will probably be available for the play-offs, but whether he makes the bench is another matter.
A real star of the Forest Green team that beat Rovers at Wembley last May, Traore has barely played for Tranmere since joining. It looks like he may have played his last game for the club too, Micky Mellon confirming on Saturday that the player has some “very serious personal problems”. It’s thought that he’s currently away from the club.
We all now know the score with Ben. Just as he was getting a run of games in an attempt to get some sharpness and return to form, he picked up another injury that rules him out until pre-season.
Tranmere’s top scorer and the National League’s Golden Boot winner, Cook was injured in the process of Hartlepool scoring their second goal on Saturday. He played the remainder of the match, but did have ice on his ankle after the game. Fingers crossed that the big man comes through in time for Saturday, he is expected to be fine and available for selection.
Like Cookie, Norburn took a heavy knock on Saturday as ex-Rovers man Jake Cassidy left his mark with a horrendous tackle in the closing stages of the first half. The influential midfielder completed the game okay after initially looking to be in a lot of pain. Fingers crossed it’s settled down okay post-match.