MANAGER Sean O’Driscoll could have three of his injured first-team players fit for Doncaster Rovers clash at Cardiff City after the international break.
Welsh international Brian Stock, James O’Connor and Shelton Martis are in line to play in South Wales after shaking off knocks.
Stock and O’Connor, who was brought on as a second half replacement in the 1-1 draw with Bristol City last time out, trained all last week while Martis is also on the mend. The giant defender took part in half of the sessions.
Assistant boss Richard O’Kelly told The Star: “They are all proven Championship players. It is just unfortunate we have had a group of players out injured all at once. We are pleased that they are making progress.
“The medical staff have done a fantastic job looking after them and they will make sure we don’t rush them back.”
Reece Brown and Milan Lalkovic, on loan from Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, are also pushing for places having come on as substitutes against the Robins.
Rovers hope Lalkovic returns unscathed from international duty with Slovakia U21s later this week. Neither Lalkovic or Brown have started since the 3-0 thumping at Derby County.
O’Kelly, O’Driscoll’s trusted lieutenant, said: “They are both young players who have come here to get experience and games.
“The pair of them have fitted in well. Their first games didn’t go the best. It was probably our worst performance of the season.
“But they came on and contributed to us securing a well earned point at home to Bristol. It is not an easy situation for them because results aren’t quite going our way.
“We wanted to get them involved and we hope we can develop them as players.”
Club record signing Billy Sharp is progressing well from ankle ligament damage he suffered on the opening day at Brighton and Hove Albion. The prolific striker said on his Twitter account that his ankle boot, used to aid his walking, was due to come off yesterday and that he plans to step up his rehabilitation.
Rovers, currently rooted to the bottom of the Championship with just one point from five outings, are bidding to get back to winning ways for the first time in the league since March at promotion contenders Cardiff.
O’Kelly added: “It has been a wonderful time for us to have a little breather as we have had to use virtually the same 11 players in every game. It is tough with the intensity of the Championship.”