DONCASTER Rovers defender George Friend is hoping to make it through to the end of the season before having a similar operation to team-mate Billy Sharp.
Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll admitted this week that Friend will need lower abdominal surgery and that he was being ‘nursed’ in training in a bid to keep him playing.
Rovers are monitoring the situation daily and if Friend got to a stage where he was struggling then he would be pulled out and booked in for surgery.
But Friend is still able to play without the problem having an adverse affect on his game. In any case he would have been loathe to have missed today’s game at Bristol City.
“I can’t wait to go back down to the West Country,” said the North-Devon-born defender before leaving for the team’s overnight hotel yesterday. “All my family and friends will be at the match and I’ll be looking for a big game.
“I’ve played in a reserve game at Ashton Gate but I’ve never played a first-team game there so I’m looking forward to it.”
Rovers will go into the game on the back of a 1-0 home defeat against runaway leaders QPR.
“We had a game-plan and we stuck to it and everyone worked hard and it was a shame that we couldn’t convert one of our chances,” said Friend.
“I think Bristol City will admit that they made a poor start to the season but they’ve gradually picked up.
“They’ve brought in some good loan players and they’ve got players back from injury and they look a good side now and they are on good run and manager Keith Millen is doing well there.
“Having said that, I fancy our chances. I fancy our chances anywhere in this division.
“As I say, we played the top of the league in our last game and I know that we were at home but we matched them for most of the game.
“It would be good to kick-off with a win after the break. We probably need a couple of wins from our last eight games to be sure of being safe and we’ll be looking to pick one of them up at Bristol. It would be nice to win all of them and finish in mid-table again.
n Gary Woods has signed a new two-year contract with the club, keeping him at the Keepmoat Stadium until the summer of 2013.
The 20-year-old keeper has featured in the starting eleven on nine occasions this term, initially providing cover for the injured Neil Sullivan.