Date: 24th February 2010 at 12:48pm
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We provide an update on the injury situation regarding Clarke Carlisle, Chris McCann, Graham Alexander and Steven Caldwell and review their chances of playing in our next game at home to administration-threatened, bottom club Portsmouth this Saturday

Clarke Carlisle

Carlisle had an X-ray this week after picking up a foot injury in our last match against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

There were fears he might have suffered a broken toe but thankfully he has been given the all clear.

“He got a real kick on it about an hour into the game but still came through the last half-hour. He was feeling it a bit afterwards but nothing is broken or damaged,” Laws confirmed.

Hopefully he will now be in contention for a place in the starting eleven on Saturday and no doubt the Clarets fans will give him a rousing reception by singing the theme tune to Countdown!

Chris McCann

McCann has had a torrid time this season with injuries. He injured both his cruciate and medial ligaments in the game at home to Sunderland back in September and although making a speedy recovery from this sort of injury was sidelined until his return in January for our FA Cup clash against Reading at the Madejski! It was a strange return for McCann with Brian Laws in only his second game in charge deciding to play the midfielder at left-back. It was great to see him back in action though although sadly it did not last long.

In the next game, he limped off at the Reebok after just a few minutes of play in the match against Bolton. It was a knee injury again but thanfully not a recurrence of his old injury and not one that serious.

Nevertheless he has been sidelined since despite returning to training. The manager recently took the squad out to Portugal for some team-bonding and training during a break in the fixtures whilst the 5th Round FA Cup ties were being played earlier this month. They also had a knockabout out there playing against Dynamo Kiev with Chris McCann playing.

McCann’s return to the first time has been hampered by the postponement of a couple of Reserves matches recently when it had been hoped he could play to help him return to full match fitness. A Burnley Reserves match against Manchester City was due to be played this week on Wednesday at the Crown Ground but had to be postponed due to Stanley having a first team home game the night before (a match that was annoyingly postponed itself due to a frozen pitch!)

Laws speaking about the situation and McCann’s recovery said:

“We`re still slightly behind with McCann.

“We`re hoping to get in a reserve game next week, which would be very pleasing.

“We`re hoping he`s available soon, but it won`t be this weekend.”

So that is fairly clear, McCann will not be in the eighteen for the Pompey game this Saturday

Graham Alexander

Grezza was another player who limped off in the Bolton game at the Reebok. He closely followed McCann picking up a calf injury to be substituted after 15 minutes.

Our penalty king, deputy captain and new player-coach under Laws has not featured since that match and I suppose to some degree it is probably lucky we have not been awarded any penalties in the subsequent games.

The good news is that Grezza has made good progress and could be in contention for a return this Saturday.

Steven Caldwell

Caldwell has suffered for most of the season with a persistent groin strain and he last played against Wolves at Molineux back in December last year.

There is good news on that front too. Caldwell has returned to light training but he still looks doubtful for Saturday.

‘He`s made really good progress over the last couple of weeks,’ said Laws

“He had a period where it was quite dormant and nothing improved, but he`s had a recent spurt recently and he`s been back on the training ground and doing a lot of running.

“It`s been frustrating for him and the club because we want all the players fit and able, but I think putting a time or game on it (a return) would put more pressure on the lad. There`s an inevitability of disappointment if he doesn`t make it.

“We`ve got to ride the storm with him and hopefully get to a point where we can see him in a game’

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