BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill is hopeful his two Jims will soon be back.
Defender McNulty has not played all season because of injury, nor has winger O’Brien after he hobbled off after dislocating his right shoulder on the opening day of the campaign, a Capital One Cup clash with Rochdale.
Both players are key to Hill’s plans and mainstays in the Reds’ side last season. And the good news for Hill is that both players could force their way back into the reckoning for Saturday’s clash at Hull City.
“We need them both back, we’ve been without them for too long,” Hill told The Star. “Jim played in the last U21s match and got some good game time. He needed that. Jimmy was on the bench, but they’re both getting back to full fitness and the sooner we get them back the better.”
Striker Mido and former Liverpool winger Toni Silva both played for the U21s as they continue their recovery from injuries but both are still a while away from a return. Midfielder Paul Digby remains sidelined with a quad injury, while defender/midfielder Martin Cranie returned to training this week after a calf injury.
Leading scorer Craig Davies is out with a hamstring injury, so Hill remains frustrated with the toll of injuries.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries and I will have to use the loan market now, but there’s nothing I can do about that,” added Hill.
Reds defender Lee Collins has had his loan deal with Shrewsbury Town extended by a further month.
Collins, aged 24, has struggled to break into the Reds’ first team this season and joined Shrews on an initial one-month loan deal in September.