Injury update as Doncaster Rovers down to the bare bones for Papa John's Trophy tie
Doncaster Rovers are missing 15 players as they begin preparations for Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy clash with Scunthorpe United.
Boss Richie Wellens could only name five regular senior players who would be training on Monday for the trip to Glanford Park.
Joseph Olowu, John Bostock and Aidan Barlow all limped off in Saturday’s FA Cup win at Scunthorpe while several others are carrying knocks and will not be risked.
“We have 15 players that are not available to train this morning,” Wellens told the Free Press on Monday. “I’d rather just give you the number than the names.
“It’s easier to give the ones that are training. We’ve got Tom Anderson, Jordy Hiwula, Joe Dodoo, Kyle Knoyle and Matt Smith.
“There’s a few that will be assessed but we don’t know yet who will be available to train.
“The youth team will be up training with us and you might see a lot of them getting an opportunity.”
The likes of Branden Horton and Ben Blythe are likely to start on Tuesday, having come off the bench at the weekend.
A draw will be good enough for Rovers to progress from the group stages of the Papa John’s Trophy.
But Wellens’ primary focus is ensuring he has as strong a squad as possible when Rovers resume League One action on Saturday week against Lincoln City.
And he therefore will not gamble with anyone’s fitness on Tuesday.
“One thing we definitely won’t do is risk anyone,” he said.
“For example, Tommy Rowe has got a sore left knee, he took a knock in the first half so we’re not going to risk him if there is any possibility of him being out for the Lincoln game.
“There is a couple that we could possibly risk but then the Lincoln game is the most important one.”
Ethan Galbraith, Tiago Cukur and Pontus Dahlberg have all headed away on international duty.
Olowu (back), Barlow (ankle), Bostock (groin) and Ro-Shaun Williams (ankle) joined Charlie Seaman and Dan Gardner on the sidelines while Rodrigo Vilca has been struggling with a neck problem which has kept him out since the defeat at Charlton Athletic.
Long term absentees Jon Taylor, Fejiri Okenabirhie and Cameron John all underwent scans late last week and the club is awaiting news of their results.
It had been expected that all three would be available for selection for the Lincoln game while Ben Close will return.