Doncaster Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey provides injury updates on key players including captain Tom Anderson

Doncaster Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey has provided an update on the club’s long-term injured players as pre-season gets underway.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 11:14 am

Rovers’ begin the first of six weeks training today as part of their preparation for the 2022/23 campaign, which will see them attempt to bounce back to League One at the first attempt.

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A number of the club’s senior players finished last season on the sidelines, including captain Tom Anderson, Tommy Rowe, Jon Taylor, Kieran Agard and Ben Close.

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Rovers captain Tom Anderson will be back for the first day of pre-season training.

Discussing their respective timescales for return, McSheffrey said: "Tom will be ready to go from Day One. Jon Taylor will probably be ready to go from midweek.

“Ben will probably be a couple of weeks later, there’s just been a little bit of a delay. He’s running, he’s on the grass, he’s getting stronger daily.

"Tommy Rowe had surgery, so Ben and him will probably join in a couple of weeks in.

"They will probably do a good week to 10 days with the physio and join in with the group from Day 10. Kieran Agard similar, he had surgery on that hamstring.

"There’s a few that we have to just tailor their pre-season a bit for the first couple of weeks.”

McSheffrey hopes to have all 21 of his contracted players fit and available to him by the third week of pre-season.

Doncaster’s head of football operations, James Coppinger, described last term’s injury crisis as ‘an absolute anomaly’.

He said: “It’s something I’ve never seen but when I speak to other football clubs, other managers, it was very similar at very similar clubs.

"Covid played a huge part in that. We had lads isolating before the first game of the season for 10 days, training Friday, then playing in the game.

"For me personally they never recovered. It was just a constant battle in terms of keeping people fit, getting people fit. When you have a small squad of senior players, when they don’t play it then makes things even worse.”

Rovers will play six friendlies over the next six weeks, starting with a short trip to local side Armthorpe Welfare next Saturday.

They will also test themselves against last season’s Championship play-off finalists Huddersfield Town at the Eco-Power Stadium on Saturday, July 16 and Rotherham United, now back in the second tier, the following Tuesday.