Barnsley have been struck a major blow ahead of tomorrow’s away clash with Championship high-fliers Nottingham Forest.
The Reds will definitely be without new striker Marcus Pedersen for the trip to the City Ground.
Norwegian international hitman Petersen only joined the Reds on a season-long loan from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.
But the 23-year-old limped off with a foot injury after making his first start for his country in their recent World Cup qualifying clash with Switzerland.
And Reds’ boss David Flitcroft doesn’t expect to have the striker available for the next fortnight, meaning he will miss this weekend’s trip to Forest and Tuesday’s away clash with Bournemouth at the Fitness First Stadium.
Pedersen is also highly likely to feature at home to Watford a week on Saturday, but could possibly return in time for the Reds’ away fixture with Leicester City on Saturday 28 September.
“He’s [Marcus] gutted he’s not available because he’d got himself into a good place,” said Flitcroft.
“We’ve left him over in Norway to recover from his injury, but it’s a big blow for Marcus and for us.
“We’re going to be without him, but we’re doing everything we can to get up and running as quick as possible.
“It’s a bad gash, but it’s just unfortunate, it really is.”
However, despite Pedersen’s injury, boss Flitcroft has been boosted by the return of defenders Martin Cranie and Lewin Nyatanga, as well as midfielders Kelvin Etuhu and David Perkins.
Centre-backs Cranie and Nyatanga, the Wales international, have been sidelined with knee injuries, but are now available for action, while Etuhu and Perkins have recovered from hamstring and dead leg injuries respectively.
Forest boss Billy Davies will have to watch this one from the stands having been handed a one-match touchline ban for being found guilty of improper conduct by the Football Association.
That means assistant manager Ned Kelly will take charge of teams affairs this weekend, although expect Davies to still play a key role in Forest’s tactics.
Barnsley last beat Forest in October 2010 with four of the last five fixtures between the two sides having been draws, but you have to go back to January 2006 for their last win at the City Ground.
Last season the two clubs drew 0-0 at the City Ground, while Forest romped to a 4-1 win at Oakwell earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, winger Jim O’Brien has admitted it’s been a “real” learning experience having to play as a right wing-back this season in a new system employed by the Reds.
But the hard-working Scot has thrown himself into the task of doing the best he can for the sake of the team.
However, new signing Peter Ramage could make his debut on Saturday having play that position before.
The Crystal Palace loan defender has been training with the Reds’ squad throughout the international break and is hungry to make his debut for his new club.
“It’s been learning how to defend,” said O’Brien. “It’s a lot to turn an attacking player into a defender rather than it is there other way.
“I’ve been working a lot with [first team coach] Martin Scott, who used to play full-back, and he’s been talking me through a couple of things.
“It’s a learning curve, but it’s a steep learning curve at this level.”