Alan Knill welcomes good news over Krystian Pearce blood results
One piece of good news, that defender Krystian Pearce could be back in action this weekend, has cheered Torquay United manager Alan Knill in an otherwise difficult week for the Gulls.
As things stand, United will still be without EIGHT players for Saturday’s League Two trip to Wycombe Wanderers.
But it looks as if centre-back Pearce could be in the side, even though he is still in the middle of a series of tests on a blood condition.
“Krystian trained today, which is great news,” said Knill yesterday, before heading off on another scouting mission.
“He does have a problem, but it doesn’t look like it’s as serious as we first feared. He’s still waiting for the results of more tests and he may need treatment after that, but the doctors say he can carry on playing in the meantime.”
Pearce was taken ill in training recently and he spent several days in hospital after the 2-1 defeat at Newport ten days ago. He was also forced to miss last Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to York City.
Knill also revealed that centre-half Aaron Downes’ knee surgery went as well as United could have hoped.
“It is a cartilage injury, which is new and nothing to do with problems he’s had in the past, and it’s been repaired,” reported Knill.
“We’re hoping Aaron could be back in about four weeks, which is a lot better than the four months which it could have been.”
But that’s the extent of the good news, for Knill also disclosed that midfielder Ben Harding will be out for up to four weeks after he tore a muscle in his foot against York.
And the Gulls’ resources are severely strained by other absences, through international calls, loans and illness.
It’s now been confirmed that three players – on-loan defender Anthony O’Connor (Republic of Ireland Under-21s), winger Billy Bodin (Wales Under-21s) and young goalkeeper Conor Thompson (Northern Ireland Under-19s) - will be on international duty this weekend and next midweek, ruling them out of the Wycombe match.
Forwards Niall Thompson (Worcester) and Ashley Yeoman (Bideford) are out on loan, Callum Ball has just returned to Derby County after his own loan at Plainmoor was ended and defender Kirtys McKenzie is not available while he fights for full fitness in the face of a diabetes condition.
Goalkeeper Michael Poke could well be in the squad for Wycombe, even though he has only just returned to full training and hasn’t played a match since the end of last season.
And the 16 players currently available to Knill include two rookie professionals in defender Jake Hutchings, 17, and forward Danny Sullivan, 18.
It’s hardly surprising that United have consulted the rules about having matches postponed. They don’t help either.
Clubs are allowed to seek postponements if they have three players on international duty, but because O’Connor is only on loan and not Torquay’s own player, that option is not open to them.
Knill has been scouring the loan transfer market again, and he was out watching another game last night.