Bialkowski Misses Out Against Leeds Along With Webster, Ward and Smith
Friday, 12th Jan 2018 14:29
Town will be without keeper Bartosz Bialkowski for Saturday’s home game against Leeds due to a calf strain, while Adam Webster, Grant Ward and Tommy Smith all remain sidelined.
Bialkowski, 30, suffered what’s understood to be a minor injury in training and will be absent for the first time in the Championship this season. Dean Gerken, who has recovered from his recent hip problem, will start with Michael Crowe on the bench.
"Bart has picked up a calf strain and will miss tomorrow,” McCarthy said. “Gerks will be in goal tomorrow”
Bialkowski had been interesting Crystal Palace but, as reported last weekend, the Eagles have turned their attention to Getafe’s Vicente Guaita, who is now understood to be close to completing a move to Selhurst Park.
Adam Webster has missed the last two games with an achilles problem, while Grant Ward suffered a groin injury at Fulham and Colorado Rapids target Tommy Smith missed last week’s FA Cup tie with Sheffield United due to illness.
“All still unavailable,” McCarthy added. “Webbo’s still injured, Grant’s still injured and Tommy reported back in today from his illness, so not available unfortunately.
“Adam was a worry from Day One when he picked up that achilles injury. He’s had some an injections in it, that’s made it feel a helluva lot better, I think he’s having some more today.
“We were looking at probably the Bolton game and I’m hopeful that’s still the same. But hopeful more than confident, I think.
“Grant could possibly be back for Bolton. Matt Byard the physio tells me he’s a pretty quick healer, he gets over them quickly. But it was a nasty little injury, so we’ll see. Again I’m hopeful.”
Has he spoken to Tommy Smith about the interest from Colorado? “No, I haven’t, he’s been in today and that’s it really. I’ve been doing the first team stuff and Tommy’s been and gone and he’ll be back in tomorrow. I’ve not had a chat about it now.”
McCarthy says he has received no contact regarding the New Zealand international: “I’ve not had any, no.”
The Town boss says some of his regular first-teamers will have benefited from being rested for the 1-0 defeat to the Blades.
“Skusey’s a lot better than he was last week because his ankle was really swollen, he’s much better for [the break] and I’m hoping Joe Garner’s the same, that he’s much better for it,” he said.
“Every one of them gives 100 per cent every week and I have to say it’s a tough ask on them when tomorrow we’ve got 18 players, that’s it.
“Sixteen outfield and two keepers, that’s the lot, everybody who is available. And that’s including bring Chris Smith back and Adam McDonnell from loan deals.”
Central defender Smith has been with Vanarama National League South Chelmsford, while midfielder McDonnell was at Aldershot in the National League until being recalled just before Christmas.
Youngsters Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam have both been out of action but the latter is making progress.
“Flynn’s still a bit the same and he’s picked up a little knock as much through being tired as anything, just a tight hamstring," the Blues manager continued.
“He works exceptionally hard, he was the fittest lad when we came back and did the bleep test. We’d like to get him back quickly.
“Tristan, a bit of good news there. He was back on the grass today [after a hip problem], he trained with the first team. He’s only had a small-sided game and we’re probably looking at a bit of a game for him on Monday in the U23s.”
McCarthy says Luke Hyam came through last week’s match, in which he played the first 61 minutes, without a problem after more than 18 months out.
“Hyamsy’s been great,” he enthused. “I’m really, really pleased for him, first and foremost, but for the team, for the club because he’s one of the homegrown players and he’s always been a very, very good player whenever he’s played.
“I thought he played really well last week, for somebody who hasn’t played for 18 months he was remarkable. He actually gave me the look when I was taking him off after 60 minutes.”
Does he have to hold the 26-year-old back after such a long spell on the sidelines? “I can’t, he plays that way, that is how he is. If he’s out on the pitch he’s got to cope with it physically.
“There are certain things, of course, that you’re not going to put yourself through. Sixty minutes, if you’ve not been playing, you start to feel it, you start to labour and that’s when you can start to get an injury, so it was as much looking after him as much as anything else because he’d have wanted to stay on, no doubt.”
Meanwhile, Tom Adeyemi appears no nearer a return from his hamstring problem. Asked how long the summer signing from Cardiff might he out for, McCarthy said: “I’ve no idea, I don’t know. There’s no point me even talking about it. He’ll be there when he’s there.
“He’s had a hammy, he’s had a bit of a calf strain. But I’ve got more problems, I’ve got problems with ones who are going to be fit and playing. Tom will have to forgive me but that’s not my priority.”
Fellow midfielders Teddy Bishop, Andre Dozzell and Emyr Huws are all out for the season having undergone knee operations.
Defender Jordan Spence is suspended for two more matches following his red card at Fulham.
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