Thursday afternoon brought yet another injury update from United’s busy treatment room with the usual mix of good and not so good news.
Speaking first about Ben Barclay, manager Paul Simpson said: “Ben went for a scan on Tuesday and it’s the exact same injury site.
“Obviously when you have an ankle injury it can bring a bit of instability, and that’s what’s happened with him. It’s nowhere near as bad as the first-time round, but it’s very sore.
“The plan is to just try and get it to settle down as soon as we possibly can with ice and any sort of manipulation that helps to ease it. Those are the things the physio department can do with him.
“We’ll start building him up once it’s stronger and things have calmed down. We think he’s going to be a few weeks, which is nowhere near as bad as it could have been.”
“Jack Stretton looks like he’s got a couple of ligament issues to a grade one level,” he added. “We’re hoping between now and Saturday that he might be ok, but it also means he could possibly be a couple of weeks, we’re just going to have to wait and see.
“He’s been in today and there’s certainly no more swelling, but it’s a little bit more painful than it was yesterday. We’ll keep assessing that one.
“We spoke about Corey and how I feel I handled that badly, but thankfully he’s not holding it against me. He actually wanted to go out for the second half, so he’s fine.
“His ankle is settling down and he was able to do part of today’s session. Hopefully that will continue to improve overnight and he’ll be available for the weekend.”
“It’s not great, but they’re all unavoidable, I do have to say that,” he explained. “With hamstrings you can sort of retrace everything you’ve done and try to analyse if you could have done something else, but I really don’t think we could have done anything differently with these three.
“I clipped the fall Ben had in training to look back at it, and I did the same with Jack’s fall on Tuesday. It actually looked like somebody had shot him from the crowd, and both of them are so innocuous.
“There’s nobody anywhere near them, they aren’t knocked off balance or anything like that, they’re just unfortunate things we’ve got to deal with.”
Looking at the better news, a return to the action edges ever closer for Fin Back, Kris Dennis, Jamie Devitt and Tobi Sho-Silva.
“Tobi is continuing to train, but it’s still too early for him this week,” he confirmed. “We’re going to carry on working with him and maybe, looking at the fixtures, and the schedule in November, we have midweek games through most of the weeks.
“We’ve got Harrogate, then the County Cup game against Bransty on the 15th, we have a reserve game on the 22nd and another on the 29th. Tobi will certainly be ready to play in those if he hasn’t been involved with the first team before then.
“There’s also a plan to get Joel Senior back in those games and he’ll be with the rest of the group after the Tranmere game. He’ll build up towards the 15th and hopefully get 30 to 45 minutes, then on the 22nd we’ll look towards 60 to 70 minutes.
“From there it’s getting him as close to 90 minutes as we possibly can in his third game. He was the free player in a session we had today so most of what he needs now is to go through the mental stage of getting used to the fact his knee can be fully loaded and he can play at full tilt again.
“That will come for him in time. He’s really positive and looking forward to it all because he now has a target and he’s getting very close.”
“Fin and Kris have both been in full training, so they’re back with the main group. Hopefully they get no reaction and they’re ready to be involved at the weekend,” he continued. “By the time we go through November hopefully Tobi, Ben, Sonny and possibly Dev will be able to take part in some of those games.
“At that point we’ll have a cleaner bill of health, more available, and it’ll all feel so much better. In the meantime, it’s something we have to take in our stride.
“I don’t really have a choice if I’m going to be honest with you. I’d love to stamp my feet and spit my dummy out, but it is what it is.
“We’re on a really good run of results, take Tuesday out of the equation, and that isn’t a case of me brushing it under the carpet. Let’s learn from it, but let’s get back to winning ways this weekend in a fantastic game against Orient.”