BARNSLEY keeper Luke Steele is facing a race against time to be fit for the new season.
The former Manchester United shot-stopper has not played in any of the Reds’ four pre-season friendly fixtures having suffered a setback in his return from a hernia operation.
And, speaking exclusively to The Star, Steele revealed: “I’m not definitely out for the start of the season, but my chances are looking pretty slim.
“There’s nothing I can do at the unfortunately, I’m not training with the other lads at the minute because I’m having a lot of physio to get things right.
“It’s a case of seeing how my groin reacts over the next week or so, but at this stage it’s definitely going to be a push for the Rochdale game.”
The Reds kick off their season against Dale at Spotland in the first round of the Capital One Carling Cup next Saturday (August) 11, a match which is preceded by two friendly matches against Doncaster Rovers, at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday, and then away to Crewe next Tuesday.
But at this stage in proceedings new summer signings Ben Alnwick is in the driving seat to start between the posts having played in all four of the club’s pre-season fixtures thus far.
“It’s not about me at the end of the day, it’s about the club,” stressed Steele. “No-one is bigger than the club and whoever plays, well I wish them the best of luck.”
Reserve team keeper Lukas Lidakevicius is also in the running to push for the No 1 jersey.