Tranmere Rovers travel to the North East for Tuesday’s League One encounter at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland.
With a trip to the biggest stadium in the division and against one of the fancied teams to win promotion this season, you’d want a fully fit squad to travel with.
Micky Mellon doesn’t have that luxury as the injury problems continue to haunt Prenton Park.
Getting David Perkins back is a big plus for the Rovers manager, but that has been offset by the woes of Ollie Banks, Harvey Gilmour and Darren Potter picking up injuries in the midfield.
Corey Blackett-Taylor is the latest concern having limped off against Southend United on Friday evening, but there’s been no real update on his condition ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light.
Let’s take a closer look at the list of the walking wounded currently causing Micky Mellon selection dilemmas…
The full-back has been missing since picking up an injury in the 3-0 defeat away at Oxford United last month. The diagnosis at the time suggested a lay-off of 4-6 weeks, meaning a return to the fold may be imminent. But, with Jake Caprice and Kane Wilson back available again, he may not be required.
Ellis sustained a knee injury towards the back end of last season and remains absent. It’s likely to be some time yet until we next see the experienced defender in a Rovers shirt on the pitch.
Another who picked up a serious knee injury at the end of last term, the young defender is unlikely to be available for selection until the new year at the earliest.
The midfielder went under the knife last week for a knee injury which will likely rule him out for the next three months, meaning his 2019 is effectively over in terms of first team action.
The young midfielder came into the side due to the absence of others and did well, but unfortunately he now has picked up a knee injury in training. He’s had a scan but there is no news on the extent of the injury currently. After missing Friday’s game against Southend, it would appear that he’s a big doubt for this one and could well be missing for a few weeks as well.
The experienced midfield player has bruised ribs picked up from a robust challenge against Coventry City. He missed Friday night’s game against Southend United and is classed as a doubt for Tuesday.
The on-loan Chelsea man is yet to make an appearance for Rovers since his move from Stamford Bridge. If my identification skills are correct, he appeared in a training video on the club’s YouTube channel last week, so could well be available for selection once again which would be a plus, particularly with the current dearth of midfield players due to injury.
The former Aston Villa front man is a doubt having limped off against Southend United last Friday. He seemed to pick up a hamstring injury, so we’ll have to wait and see whether it’s not as bad as it sounds and if he’s available. His pace on the counter attack would be a very useful tool to at our disposal.
The big striker was enjoying a good pre-season campaign, having recovered from the injury problems which blighted his spell after joining Rovers in the second half of last season, before sustaining a hamstring problem against Walsall in the final warm-up match before the new campaign. There’s still no real news of how close he is to a return to action.
Another player who sustained a knee ligament injury in training a few weeks ago and has missed the past few games. The striker is back in light training, running again, but is likely to remain absent for another couple of weeks or so.