Rovers: Doncaster’s back-up goalkeeper Woods gets chance to star

Sidelined: Carl Ikeme is poised to be out of action for the next two months because of a thumb problem.'                        Picture: Steve Taylor.

Sidelined: Carl Ikeme is poised to be out of action for the next two months because of a thumb problem.' Picture: Steve Taylor.

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AS one door closes... but Doncaster Rovers manager Dean Saunders certainly would have preferred not having to open another one after the injury blow suffered by goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.

The on-loan goalkeeper suffered a serious thumb injury in training which is set to keep him out for over two months and possibly up to three.

He caught his thumb in the turf as he went down at the feet of James Coppinger and ripped the ligament.

Saunders said the initial estimate for his absence was nine weeks and then pointed out the opportunity it affords Gary Woods who starts against Leicester City at the Keepmoat today.

“It’s his big chance and it is an opportunity for him,” said Saunders.

“Yes, I can look at the loan market but won’t need to if he plays well to the end of the year.

“He has an opportunity to create an impression.”

Woods began the season as first choice but hasn’t played under Saunders having been left out of the game before Saunders took over in September.

Central defender Lamine Diatta could be in line for a debut. The 36-year-old Senegal international got clearance last week after penning a two-month contract but permission came through late and he wasn’t included at Birmingham.

Pascal Chimbonda trained yesterday but El-Hadji Diouf is not ready. Saunders said both are “close to a return.” Chimbonda is certainly closest.

Leicester, having recently appointed ex-Hull boss Nigel Pearson as manager for a second spell at the club, have midfielder Paul Gallagher available after recovering from an ankle injury.

Former Rovers defender Matt Mills misses out due to a two-match ban.

n Nine-year-old Aidan Smith has been named as the Face of Rovers Telecom.

The Rovers-mad youngster, who goes home and away with his family from Gowdall near Snaith, won the most Facebook ‘likes’ online competition to become the front man for the new mobile phone network for Rovers fans.

The new Pay As You Go network has been launched by Rovers Telecom in an innovative partnership between the club and Doncaster-based communications specialist Kat Communications.

Aidan met the players and received an 1Pad2 and Rovers PAYG Sim card as his prize from his favourite player Tommy Spurr.

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