Manager Paul Hurst has confirmed Andy Butler will miss at least the next two games with an ankle injury sustained at Mansfield Town last weekend.
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The skipper will sit out the two home clashes against Morecambe and Oldham Athletic.
Speaking to the media on Thursday lunchtime, Hurst also confirmed Ryan Colclough is a doubt for the weekend, but did have better news regarding Levi Sutton and Andy Dales, who haven’t been able to play a part so far this season.
“We’re gradually getting better overall, but at the same time we’ve lost Andy Butler, who picked up an injury in the game last weekend," he told iFollow Iron.
“He managed to finish the game but his ankle is very swollen so he’ll miss Saturday and Tuesday. He’ll maybe come back into contention after that for Walsall away, but we’ll see.
“The other one is Ryan Colclough, who’s picked up a groin injury this week and didn’t train on Thursday so there’s a good chance he’ll be missing.
“On the positive side, for the long-term, the likes of Levi Sutton and Andy Dales have trained with us and they’re getting fitter by the day. In an ideal world they’d have been ready for the (Under-23s) game on Tuesday and played some part in that, but they’re not at that stage yet and need the rest of this week training. If there was a game next week they’d have probably come into contention for that.
“They’re making good progress and enjoying being back out there with their team-mates. I’m looking forward to having them available as part of the squad because I think they both have attributes I like in players, and I’m sure both are chomping at the bit to get back playing.
“Jacob Bedeau and Lewis Butroid got minutes for the Under-23s in their midweek victory, so we gradually feel like we’re making progress but, at the same time, there are one or two little setbacks as well.”
Hurst also updated on Kgosi Ntlhe (back) and Lee Novak (ankle), saying: “Kgosi is doing better and Lee Novak is coming on well. We’re moving in the right direction.”
Talking about preparation for the clash with Morecambe, Hurst continued: “I’ve been really pleased with how they’ve trained, but until we turn what we’re doing in training into points at the weekend, the players won’t feel good about themselves."
“On Tuesday, we did some 11 vs 11 work with some of the youth team lads but I would’ve preferred a game. You just want that opportunity to come around,” he added.
“You can come in and sulk and think the world is against you or you can get on with your job, and the players have done that. I’m hoping they can get their reward for that on Saturday.”
Hurst had his say on his opposite number and England’s longest-serving manager Jim Bentley: “They’ve got a manager who has been there years as a player. He knows the club inside out and does very well with limited resources and his team defies the odds.
“We give them full respect but we feel like we can cause them problems and stamp our game onto them in front of our own fans.”
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