MARK Robins is hopeful he will have a full complement of players back from injury in time for Saturday’s away clash with Crystal Palace.
The Reds take on the Eagles at Selhurst Park after a welcome international break has given them chance to snatch some well-deserved rest in time for the final phase of the Championship season.
And with eight games remaining, there is still plenty to play for Robins and his charges as they look to better last season’s 18th place finish.
“Hopefully everyone will be back with us for Saturday’s game, but we will have a clearer idea towards the end of the week,” Robins told The Star.
“The international break has been good because it has given us the chance to give the players a bit of a rest.
“But at the same time they’ve been starved of football and everyone is looking forward to playing again. It’s going to be nearly two weeks without having played a game.”
Centre-backs Stephen Foster and Paul McShane might both be in contention for a starting place down in Croydon this weekend.
Foster is back running having been sidelined with a hip injury since he limped off after 57 minutes of the club’s home fixture against Ipswich in early February.
And Hull City loan recruit McShane is progressing well from a hamstring which initially threatened to sideline him for as long as eight weeks.
He too is back running and if the duo are both fit Robins will have a tough decision on his hands who to play alongside Jason Shackell in the heart of the Reds’ defence.
Full-back Bobby Hassell has returned to training after a calf injury forced him off after just 25 minutes at home to Norwich while forward Danny Haynes is also back running having missed the club’s last match before the international break against Reading with a hamstring strain.
Manchester City loan defender Kieran Trippier is battling to get fit from a groin strain while second-choice keeper David Preece has a minor knee injury.
Chelsea loan midfielder Jacob Mellis is struggling with a hamstring injury but Robins revealed he will resume training later this week.
“We want everyone back,” Robins added. “It looks a lot healthier around the place when there’s competition for places.”