Fitness update on Jon Taylor, Cameron John, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Ethan Galbraith and Ben Close ahead of Doncaster Rovers' trip to Gillingham

Jon Taylor is unlikely to feature for Doncaster Rovers at Gillingham on Tuesday night after suffering swelling on his ankle following his return to action at the weekend.

By Liam Hoden
Monday, 18th October 2021, 5:41 pm
Jon Taylor
Jon Taylor

The 29-year-old played his first game since March as he came off the bench during the defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.

But after his 25 minute cameo at the Keepmoat, his ankle became swollen meaning he is likely to sit out the trip to the Priestfield Stadium.

“It actually swelled up after the game so I’ll leave that with Chats [Jonathan Chatfield, physio],” boss Richie Wellens said.

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“He’ll travel down with us to Gillingham and we’ll assess it on the day of the game but it’s not looking great for that one.

“He’ll probably have to wait for Saturday.

“We cannot afford any negative reaction from him.

“When he got home Saturday night it had swelled up and he sent a picture of it to the physio and he wasn’t happy with it.

“He’s probably going to miss out.”

Wellens is refusing to risk Taylor’s fitness in order to avoid any more long term problems.

He said: “I would have quite liked to have started him on Saturday with the way Wycombe play. Jordy Hiwula certainly exploited the spaces they left but we needed someone on the right to do the same.

“Joe Dodoo was played a little bit out of position but we thought with the physicality he could play against [Joe] Jacobson, and in the areas they left with the wingbacks, we thought we could exploit them.

“Jon would have been perfect for that.

“I’m itching to get him back in, just as Jon is itching to get back playing.

“We’ve just got to be patient because we can’t afford any long-term issues with him.”

Wellens confirmed Cameron John will not be available until early November due to his back issue.

Fejiri Okenabirhie is not set to return until mid-November.

Ethan Galbraith has been passed fit to start after beginning Saturday’s game on the bench following a taxing international break with Northern Ireland U21.

“He’s been an important player for us in recent weeks,” Wellens said. “He’s played well and set up a few goals so he should be freshened up now and good to go.”

Ben Close played the full 90 minutes against Wycombe despite being rated at 50-50 heading into the game.

And Wellens says his hamstring issue will need to be managed in the coming busy weeks.

“There’s a slight tear there but he’s got through the game and he should be fine,” he said.

“We’ll have to manage it but he should be fine.”


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.