The United manager could be without 10 members of his first team squad at Blackpool on Wednesday night, after centre-forward Oli McBurnie suffered a dead leg towards the end of yesterday’s defeat by Coventry City.
With United battling to qualify for the postseason play-offs, Heckingbottom can ill-afford to be without so many experienced performers at such a critical period of the campaign.
Despite expressing his dissatisfaction with their performance against Mark Robins’ side, Heckingbottom told The Star: “I’m not bothered about the form. I now our players are good.
“The thing I am having sleepless nights over is the injuries. We need to get people back, that’s obvious. We can’t afford to lose any more, that’s for sure.”
United’s injury situation has become so acute, Heckingbottom was forced to recall 20-year-old Kacper Lopata from a loan spell at Southend on the eve of their visit to Warwickshire. The centre-half joined fellow youngsters Femi Seriki and Oliver Arblaster on the bench at the Coventry Building Society Arena, while the teenage Kyron Gordon started the match in defence.
Unless McBurnie can recover in time, Billy Sharp and Daniel Jebbison could be the only recognised strikers at United’s disposal for the visit to Bloomfield Road after Oliver Burke and Lys Mousset were both allowed to depart during the January transfer window.
Unlike Lopata, who had deliberately been placed with a National League outfit, their respective agreements - with Millwall and Salernitana - can not be terminated.