Sharp bids for return

Doubt: Brian Stock.
Doubt: Brian Stock.
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CLUB-record signing Billy Sharp could be set to make a return to action for injury-hit Doncaster Rovers in their last game against Middlesbrough at the Riverside tomorrow.

The club’s leading scorer hasn’t played for two months following a hernia operation.

Billy Sharp: Out of action for two months.    Picture: Simon Hulme/YEP

Billy Sharp: Out of action for two months. Picture: Simon Hulme/YEP

“Billy trained yesterday and he’ll train today and if he is okay it will be down to him to decide what he wants to do,” said Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll.

“He’s strong and he’s worked hard and he’s done everything asked of him.

“As I say it’s down to him but by the look of it I might not have much choice and I could be struggling to field a 13 or 14-man squad.

There was concern that Sharp might need surgery on a groin problem prior to him having his hernia operation and O’Driscoll is anxious that any problems in that respect are highlighted and resolved as soon a as possible.

“What we don’t want is Billy breaking down in pre-season training,” he said.

““We’ve got to make sure that he is okay and the only way you can do that is to put him in a situation where he plays as if he is fit and does things without thinking.

“If he feels that he is not then at least we have something to go on and we can sort it out and he’d be ready for pre-season.”

Striker Steve Brooker, the hero of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Leicester, was scheduled to have an ankle ‘clear out’ operation today

Defender George Friend, booked in for a hernia operation next week, will also be missing.

Spurs loanee Ryan Mason returned to White Hart Lane yesterday for treatment after going over on his ankle in training.

Full-back Mustapha Dumbuya could also miss out. He was booked in for a scan on a shoulder injury today.

Fellow defender Shelton Martis is set to have a scan on his ankle problem tomorrow morning.

On-loan striker Jason Euell hasn’t trained all week after being injured in the first half of the Leicester match.

“Jason is not our player. He doesn’t want to get injured when trying to find a club for next season,” said the Doncaster boss.

Keeper Gary Woods faced another couple of weeks in a boot.

To add to O’Driscoll’s problems, skipper Brian Stock, another to be booked in for surgery next week, could also miss out.

O’Driscoll revealed that the influential midfielder needs an ankle reconstruction operation and could be out until Christmas, though the hope is that he could be back sooner.

“It depends what they find,” said the Doncaster boss.

Rovers faced a Boro side who are finishing the season with a flourish. Their 3-0 win away to promotion hopefuls Cardiff City was their third successive victory.

“They’ll be looking to finish the season on a high but we also want to end in good heart,” said O’Driscoll.

“I’ve been really pleased with everybody’s effort in the last five or six games, They’ve not looked nervous or a team under pressure, even though we’ve not got a win and at times we’ve struggled to put teams together.

“It would have been nice had last Saturday’s game been the end; tomorrow is probably a game too far for us.”