BARNSLEY: Midfield man in as Reds reel from injury blows

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BARNSLEY swooped yesterday to sign former Wigan Athletic, Derby County and Reading midfielder Tomasz Cywka on a free transfer, but have been rocked by the news that striker Mido, winger Toni Silva and goalkeeper Luke Steele will miss the start of the season away to Rochdale on Saturday.

The Star can exclusively reveal that former Tottenham striker Mido could be sidelined for as long as three months with the hamstring injury he picked up in Saturday’s pre-match warm-up against Doncaster Rovers.

Ex-Liverpool playmaker Silva could be out for anywhere up to a month with his hamstring injury.

Reds boss Keith Hill revealed: “It’s a massive blow, but there’s nothing we could have done to prevent them.

“Mido pulled his hamstring shooting in the warm-up against Doncaster and the scan’s revealed it’s a bad injury, it’s very serious.

“It’s a shame both players are injured, but we’ve just got to get on with it.”

And with Silva and Mido definitely out Hill is hungry to sign a new striker before his much-anticipated return to his old club at Spotland.

“We’ve got an obvious problem, we need to get a striker in the building as soon as possible. We’re going to have to dip into the transfer market,” said Hill.

“It’s going to be difficult to get a recognised striker with less than a week to go until we play Rochdale, but we’ll be trying our best.”

The Reds don’t kick off their Championship campaign at home to Middlesbrough until Saturday August 18, so Hill still has time to recruit.

He was boosted yesterday when Polish midfielder Cywka penned a one-year deal with the club having impressed on trial.

“He’s is a very good player, he’s dynamic and can play a number of positions. He’s an offensive midfield player, he’s 24 and he did well on trial. A one-year deal was good for both parties,” Hill said.

The Reds finish their pre-season away to League One side Crewe Alexandra tonight having won one, drawn three and lost one of their previous friendly matches in the build-up to the new season.

Defender and free agent Ibrahima Sonko, who is on trial with the Reds, is set to play against the Railwaymen as he looks to earn himself a permanent contract at Oakwell.