Sutton and Bell making progress after sustaining knocks in win at Exeter City.Manager Paul Cox has confirmed that both Ritchie Sutton and Fergus Bell have responded well to treatment following injuries they sustained in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Exeter City.
The duo both needed to be substituted during the second half of the clash at St James Park. Sutton limped off with hamstring trouble, only a few moments before Bell sustained ankle damage whilst blocking a shot.
“’Sutts’ [Ritchie Sutton] came in for treatment yesterday as did Fergus,” said Cox.
“They seem to have responded to treatment over the last 24 hours, but it’s one of these situations where we’re going to be flipping a coin between now and Saturday to know if they’re going to be fit.”
One player who defied the odds to figure in the win over the Grecians was left-back Rob Taylor.
The ex-Port Vale player, who joined us in the summer, wasn’t expected to figure due to a problem with his immune system, but he came off the bench to complete around 40 minutes.
On Taylor’s fitness, our boss said: “Rob will be back in this morning. Obviously he wasn’t right at the weekend and we gave him yesterday off to try and recover. He’ll see the doctor and we’ll get a better run down on how he is.”
When asked if the latter duo could have late fitness tests, Cox said: “It looks like it. They’re different injuries so it probably means a different period of treatment or rehab, but both of them have responded well over the last 24 hours.”
Two other players to have endured an injury hit start to the campaign are centre-backs Luke Jones and John Dempster.
Jones has been plagued by an ankle problem in recent weeks, whilst Dempster has missed our last two games in Sky Bet League Two due to tendonitis.
“We’d like to have ‘Demps’ [John Dempster] back in training by the end of this week,” added our boss. “’Jonah’ [Luke Jones] is a little bit more complicated, but I’m hoping both of them are very close to at least participating in training.”
Meanwhile, Cox is expected to field a mixture of trialists, youngsters and players who haven’t had much game-time this season in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Worksop Town tonight.
He said: “The game will be used for a number of reasons – to get lads who are a little bit rusty and haven’t played for a while a game and we’ll have a look at one or two lads who are coming in.
“You can run players around tracks or work them hard in training, but it's real match fitness that the players need.”
Paul Cox’s full interview from this morning’s press meeting will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.