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SWINDON TOWN: Treatment room packed as injury crisis deepens
JED McCrory may have to start knocking walls down in the County Ground treatment room to make space for the walking wounded, such is the state of the Swindon Town injury list at present.
McCrory has been busy renovating various sections of the stadium over the course of the past three weeks but with 11 first-team players currently out of action, physio Paul Godfrey is having trouble fitting all the casualties into his office at the bottom of the Arkell’s Stand.
Manager Mark Cooper lamented the situation in his pre-match media briefing ahead of the visit of Tranmere Rovers tomorrow, as he reflected on a list of sidelined players which includes Ryan Mason, Nile Ranger, Ryan Harley, Nathan Thompson, Nathan Byrne, Tijane Reis, Alex Smith, Alex Ferguson, Mark Francis, Harry Agombar and Aaron Oakley.
When asked what the treatment room looks like at present, he said: “I couldn’t tell you because I can’t get in there. It’s very busy so we’re trying to patch people up and try to get them ready for the weekend but at the moment I’m not too sure how many of them will make Saturday.
“You don’t expect to have that many injuries but when you put a squad together as late as we did through necessity and there are people who come without having a pre-season then you’re going to get injuries.
“They’re stressed from playing 90-minute games and they’re going to break down somewhere along the line. We probably needed to change it on Saturday away at Preston after the Chelsea game but we didn’t really have the capacity to do it.
“It becomes difficult to get it perfectly.
“Now once we get them fit we have to manage them and maintain them rather than training every day. It may be a case that the ones who didn’t have pre-season have a couple of different sessions to the rest of the group.”
Ranger is not expected to feature as he completes the second of four weeks on the sidelines, while Thompson and Byrne are dealing with injuries sustained at Preston.
“What we don’t want to do is throw him (Nile) back in on Saturday, he tears his groin and he’s out for two months so we’ve got to be careful. We’ve got a duty towards Nile, if there’s any doubt we’re not going to risk him,” said the Town boss.
“We haven’t stressed him out too much and we’ll leave it as late as possible.
“Nathan Byrne and Nathan Thompson will be touch and go. Nathan Thompson did a bit of training this morning, Nathan Byrne was still too sore to do most of the training.”
Ryan Harley continues his rehabilitation from a medial knee ligament problem, while Ryan Mason’s thigh issue still hasn’t cleared up - despite Cooper suggesting last week that the Tottenham loanee would be fit to start against Tranmere.
“He (Harley) stepped up a little bit today and feels a little bit more secure with his knee. Hopefully we’ll try to get him into the group next week,” said Cooper.
“He (Mason) has just not responded to the treatment as well as we hoped he would and it’s another big miss for us. Until I actually see it before my eyes I don’t take anything for granted. When I see them training on a Friday morning then I’ll know they’re ready to play.”
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