Injuries pile up for PNE

Final outing? Todd Kane is due to return to Chelsea after tomorrow's cup tie
Final outing? Todd Kane is due to return to Chelsea after tomorrow's cup tie
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Graham Westley is having to contend with a lengthening injury list as he prepares to enter the Lions’ New Den with Preston North End tomorrow.

Only 13 players were fit enough to train yesterday ahead of the FA Cup third-round tie at Millwall.

Bailey Wright and David Buchanan were among those to pick up injuries during the New Year’s Day win over Hartlepool.

There has been a fresh blow too for striker Lee Trundle, who was due to start the Hartlepool game.

He tweaked a hamstring in training on New Year’s Eve and is facing more time on the sidelines.

Westley said: “We had 13 lads on the training pitch yesterday morning.

“Are we likely to get any more back before the weekend?

“I might have to toss a coin on some of the 50/50 ones, but there won’t be too many more available.

“We had a few carrying knocks after Hartlepool and a few went into that 
game with knocks which got worse.

“Genuinely we are struggling for numbers and a busy Christmas tends to do that to you.

“Bailey Wright went off with concussion and that’s his second concussion of the season.

“We have to manage that within the guidelines and it’s extremely unlikely he will be ready.

“David Buchanan came off with an injury too, while Lee Trundle was going to start at Hartlepool but tweaked his hamstring at the end of training on Monday.

“Obviously having had the serious injury earlier in the season, it’s a big blow for him and me.

“I was going to play him at Hartlepool because I thought he was ready to show what he was all about.

“It’s only a three or four-week injury but the season is ticking by now.”

If Wright is not risked, Chris Robertson will deputise alongside Luke Foster in the centre of defence.

Robertson replaced Wright from the bench on New Year’s Day.

Tomorrow’s visit to the capital is the last scheduled game of Todd Kane’s loan spell from Chelsea.

Westley expects that he will return to Stamford Bridge but has not completely ruled out a longer stay.

The PNE boss said: “We are talking to Chelsea about what may or may not be possible after the weekend.

“Originally they wanted to take him back into their Under-21s squad at the end of the loan, and the chances are that will still happen.

“Todd has had an up-and-down time.

“We lost the first couple of games when he was here and he went out of the side.

“But he came back in and played very well at Hartlepool.

“We’ll see where the conversation goes with Chelsea on that one.”

Westley is expecting a tough encounter with Millwall, who are challenging for promotion in the division above.

He said: “They have been on a great run of form and are right up there in the Championship, which is a tough division.

“Kenny Jackett will have them well organised.”