Key duo to miss Doncaster Rovers' clash with Crewe Alexandra in Papa John's Trophy

Ben Close and Jon Taylor will miss Doncaster Rovers’ Papa John’s Trophy clash with Crewe Alexandra.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 4:46 pm
Ben Close

Close is to be assessed for the knee injury he suffered in Saturday’s defeat at Burton Albion, which was his first appearance in a month following a hamstring problem.

Taylor has again visited a specialist for treatment on his ankle, which continues to cause him pain following eight months on the sidelines.

“Ben obviously picked up a knock on Saturday and he’ll be touch and go for this one but I don’t think he’ll be available for this one,” Rovers assistant manager Noel Hunt said.

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“He got a knock on the knee and he’s gone for a scan so hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

“Tayls has got a scan and an injection. Both him and Ben have gone to the same place to get sorted out so we’ll know more after tomorrow.

“Jon is still feeling some pain and it’s frustrating for all parties. We want him back and he wants to get back.

“There’s something there that’s stopping him from feeling that he can come out and put in a performance.

“We’re hearing that this injection should cure that and hopefully we can get him back finally.”

Rodrigo Vilca is also set to miss the trip to Gresty Road as he continues to struggle with his hamstring.

“Rodrigo is still in a bit of discomfort,” Hunt said.

“He tried to do some running today and was no good so we’ll have to see how he is tomorrow and the day after.”

As they did in their previous game in the competition, Rovers will include several youth team players in the squad for Wednesday night’s match.

Hunt admits there is a balancing act between looking to progress in the competition and seeking to ensure there are no further injuries to senior squad members.

He said: “We’ll maybe not have as many. We’ll see how people come away from training because we had a couple of touch and gos.

“We’re just trying to look after people, make sure the morale stays high.

“The likes of Tom, Tommy Rowe, Joe Dodoo - these boys that play every game - you want to give them a break sometimes but they understand that we just can’t at the moment.

“We haven’t got a big enough squad to rotate and these boys are having to overwork.

“We don’t have the luxury to be swapping out and rotating. We had a good chat with them this morning and they’re all desperate to help the young boys coming through.

“Tavs [Tavonga Kuleya] has done great and he could start tomorrow night with the way that we shaped up. We’re just waiting on one or two people.

“It’s a constant wait to see if people are fit or not.

“It’s a competition that we want to go far in, same as the FA Cup at the weekend.

“But you’re juggling what you have at the moment and trying to make sure we don’t lose any more people.

“We are really down to the youth team.

“We’ve got to make sure we keep going, we’re nursing what we can and get out on the training ground to work on things as best we can.”

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