Walsall FC v Harrogate Town: Sulphurites 'hopeful' over injured players

Harrogate Town are sweating on the fitness of a number of players ahead of Saturday’s League Two trip to Walsall.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 9:52 am
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 9:54 am
Jack Muldoon was injured during the early minutes of Tuesday's EFL defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Harrogate Town AFC

Veteran centre-half Rory McArdle remains on the long-term casualty list, and there are question marks hanging over four other members of Simon Weaver’s squad.

Striker Jack Muldoon limped off with a back problem in the eighth minute of Tuesday night’s EFL Trophy defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, while midfielder Lloyd Kerry missed the trip to Hillsborough due to his ankle swelling up following last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Wrexham.

The sending off of fellow centre-half Connor Hall forced Will Smith into action as a late substitute in midweek, though Weaver revealed after the game that he hadn’t really wanted to risk the 22-year-old due to him not being “100 per cent”.

Luke Armstrong damaged a shoulder during Town's 1-0 loss to Bristol Rover on October 30 and has not played since. Picture: Matt Kirkham

And, while eight-goal leading scorer Luke Armstrong is due to return to training on Thursday having sat out Town’s last two matches with a shoulder injury, it remains to be seen whether he will be fit enough to start against the Saddlers.

“We’re hoping Luke will be available, he’s training full-on on Thursday and Friday,” Weaver said.

“Jack Muldoon’s back went into spasm, Lloyd’s ankle has ballooned up, hopefully they will be okay. Will came on, not 100 per cent, so I’m hoping he is going to be okay.

“Nathan Sheron will come back in on Saturday because he wasn’t part of that disaster out there on Tuesday.”

While unlikely, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Armstrong, Muldoon and Kerry could all miss out at Walsall, but even if that does prove to be the case, Weaver says Town just have to get on with it.

“You do get knocks and bruises, it happens in football and it won’t be used as an excuse at our football club,” he added.

“We haven’t got a 35-man squad, we’ve got a 20-man squad, but if we’re down to 12 then we’ve got enough players.”

The good news for Town is that Hall will not be suspended for Saturday's trip to the West Midlands despite receiving a red card for a professional foul in the second half of the 4-0 midweek loss to Wednesday.

Weaver explained: "He's not banned, it [his suspension] is cup only, so he'll be banned for the next cup game."