Reds fear over injured Danny

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DANNY Drinkwater may never play for Barnsley again.

The Manchester United loan midfielder limped off with a torn thigh muscle in Saturday’s home defeat to Ipswich Town. And, speaking exclusively to The Star, Reds’ boss Keith Hill revealed the player could now spend a month on the sidelines.

If that’s the case then Drinkwater might have played his last game at Oakwell, with his loan deal due to expire on January 2. Hill said: “Danny could be out for three to four weeks. He’s gone back to Manchester United for an MRI scan to see the extent of the damage. We’re hoping he’s going to be all right, but we won’t know any more until we hear back about the scan. We’re hopeful, but you never know with these things.”

Drinkwater has been a revelation for the Reds this season in the centre of midfield.

The 21-year-old Old Trafford ace has forged influential partnerships with David Perkins and skipper Jacob Butterfield.

Since signing for the club in August, the former Huddersfield, Cardiff and Watford loanee has played 16 times for Barnsley.

“Danny’s injury is a blow for us because he’s been excellent this season but his injury presents opportunities for other players,” added Hill.

Hill would like to sign Drinwkater on a longer loan deal when the transfer window opens in January, but admits a lot will depend on whether United want to extend the player’s deal. “Danny wants to stay and play football, but again he’s not our player so we’ll be working closely with United to see if anything can be done.”

Left-back Jay McEveley should be fit for Saturday’s clash at West Ham. He has missed the club’s last two games with a thigh strain, with Perkins and Scott Wiseman having filled in at full-back in his absence.