There’s good news and bad news for Motherwell on the injury front ahead of their Lanarkshire derby with Hamilton tomorrow.
The Well head into their South Lanarkshire meeting off the back of an enthralling 120 minutes against St Mirren in a Scottish Cup Fifth Round replay. After finding themselves 4-1 down at half time, Stephen Robinson’s side brought it back to 4-4, but were eliminated 3-2 on penalties.
There are injury boosts for the Northern Irishman as they look for their first win in a month against Accies. Peter Hartley and Declan Gallagher should be available after illness during the week whilst Bevis Mugabi looks set to overcome an eye problem.
Chris Long will also be available for the derby clash whilst Charles Dunne made a step up in his injury recovery by playing 45 minutes for the Reserve squad during the week.
It is looking mostly positive but there is bad news for left-back Jake Carroll. After Robinson thought post-match against St Mirren that the Irishman had picked up a ‘serious’ injury, his fears over an achilles problem have been realised.
“Jake’s going to need surgery on his achilles,” confirmed Robinson. “He’s going to be out for the rest of the season and maybe the start of next season. It’s a bad injury for Jake, really disappointing, he’s been terrific for us.
“It gives me a slight problem. We’re putting a longer timescale on it, we’ve got him a top surgeon. He’ll have his operation this week and we’re confident he’ll be 100% right. But it will be a period of time. We’ll have to adjust to that. Whether I change what we do system or personnel-wise, that’ll be decided in the coming weeks.”
It’s a sickener for Carroll and Motherwell but there is one major piece of positive injury news. David Turnbull and his highly-anticipated return from a knee injury which has prevented him from playing this term is edging closer.
Robinson has detailed just how close the 20-year-old is to a competitive return. He says that the Well are waiting on the final green light before introducing the star who scored 16 goals with seven assists from midfield last term. Robinson’s also praised the work of medical staff for their help in this process.
“David Turnbull is not far away, which brings a big smile to my face when I watch him in training,” said Robinson. “He’s in full training, he’s played 11 v 11. We are just waiting for that final ok and I can’t wait for it.
“There’s no timescale but it’s a boy who looks like he hasn’t been away. It’s very exciting when you’ve got a £3 million player that’s coming back and is very close to fitness.
“He played in an 11 v 11 on Saturday after the St Mirren game was cancelled, we did it between ourselves. We won’t rush him but he looks 100% ready to go for me which is why I’m excited about it.
“But we will be taking every instruction from the people who know best. David Henderson never seems to get a mention out of it but he has been outstanding.
“He’s a top-class physio, for me one of the best, and I’ve worked with a lot of physios. The medical staff here have been fantastic. The surgeon, Andy Williams, is one of the top surgeons in the world so we’ve got the best care for David. And he looks like a boy who hasn’t been away.”