Billy moves step closer

On the comeback trail: Billy Sharp is bidding to return to action in September.         Picture: Steve Taylor
On the comeback trail: Billy Sharp is bidding to return to action in September. Picture: Steve Taylor
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DONCASTER Rovers star Billy Sharp has thrown away his crutches after the latest in a series of X-rays showed that there has been no potentiallydamaging movement of either his fibula or tibia.

There had been fears that the club’s record signing, stretchered off with damaged ankle ligaments in the opening game of the season at Brighton, could need the two bones pinning - something that would have added up to two months to his recovery time.

But Sharp told The Star that he will not need an operation.

The club’s top scorer for the last two seasons, is still wearing a surgical boot and declined to suggest a possible comeback date.

But it is believed that Sharp, who has been doing some of his rehabilitation work in an oxygen chamber to try and speed up the healing process, could be back in contention in ‘four or five weeks’ time if he suffers no setbacks.

The results from James Coppinger’s scan weren’t so positive. He has missed the last two games and has been told that he has two tears in his calf and will definitely miss Saturday’s home game against Bristol City.

Striker Chris Brown, who also sat out Tuesday’s Carling Cup tie against Leeds United after being substituted in the game at Derby at the weekend, could also miss the Bristol game.

The club are monitoring his swollen knee.

Rovers are hoping that striker James Hayter shows no adverse reaction to his first outing since being carried off in the same game as Sharp.

Hayter, who had not expected to come into contention until the weekend, was a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up against Leeds.

Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll said that no pressure had been put on Hayter and that he had left the decision to the player.

“James said that he was fine,” said O’Driscoll. “He’d’ trained Sunday and Monday and the physio had given him the OK. It was just a case of whether he felt that he could do a job.

“We just said to him that if he felt his knee to come off and not to risk it. I didn’t think that we’d last 90 minutes so I was delighted that he played a full game.

“James is a bit of an unsung hero. You can play him anywhere and tell him to do a job and he doesn’t complain.

“Sometimes you want him to be a bit more selfish but his character is to do a job. He understands football so he’s aware when problems are arising and he fills in. He’s a terrific professional.”