BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill is hopeful some of his five injured players will be fit to face Leicester City at Oakwell on Saturday.
Midfielders Nathan Doyle and Miles Addison are recovering from groin and ankle injuries respectively, while strikers Craig Davies (groin) and Ricardo Vaz Te (thigh) also missed the Reds’ last match, a 0-0 draw with Millwall at the New Den.
And to make matters worse midfielder Reuben Noble-Lazarus has been sidelined with an ankle injury, with defender Luke Potter a long-term absentee following a second medial ligament operation during the summer.
“Hopefully we’re going to a few of the lads back, but there’s a few that are not going to be ready,” Hill told The Star.
“All the lads we’re in at the weekend training and having rehabilitation, but we should know a lot better by the end of the week.”
The Star understands that Doyle should be available for selection, a welcome boost having started the season solidly.
And another boost could come if Addison, as expected, is fit to face the Foxes.
“The international break has given us that extra chance to get bodies back, but we’ll leave it as late as possible to give all the players a chance.
“They’ve been working hard and responding well to treatment, which is encouraging because we need as many players back as possible.
“It’s given me a nice headache because I’ll have more options in different positions.”
The Reds have started the season with five points from five matches with four of those points picked up with solid away performances against Reading and Millwall.
For Hill it remains a “work in progress” as he continues to try and create his own “identity” at Oakwell. He added: “It’s still early days, but I’m pleased with a lot of things I’ve seen.
“The players are buying in to what we’re trying to do, but we’ve only had five games so there’s so long to go.
“We’ve had a good start and I’ll bet anyone a beer that Middlesbrough and Southampton finish in the top six this season, they are two excellent sides.
“But after a good performance against Forest we’ve had two good away results and Luke Steele has kept two clean sheets.
“We’re looking forward to playing Leicester; the pressure’s on them because they’re expected to be successful. It’s our challenge to beat them.”