TEAM NEWS: Klose injury blow; Hanley also a doubt for Robins' trip
PUBLISHED: 14:25 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 14 December 2018
Daniel Farke faces a defensive headache for the Championship test at Bristol City on Saturday with Timm Klose injured and Grant Hanley also a major doubt.
Klose has failed to recover from the knee problem that forced him to pull out of the starting XI in the warm up before the 3-2 Championship win over Bolton.
Hanley would have come firmly into contention along with Ben Godfrey, to partner Christoph Zimmermann, but the Scottish international’s injury-hit season has taken a new turn with an eye injury suffered when he caught a stray finger from Onel Hernandez in training.
Farke revealed at Colney Hanley had sat out two days training since and may have to wear special protective glasses to make his long-awaited first team return this weekend.
“Grant has not been involved in several weeks,” said Farke. “He is a doubt. He could not train Wednesday or Thursday. He got a hit in a duel with Onel and has an inflammation in his eye. I think it was Onel’s finger. We tried something on Friday, where he wore special lenses to protect the eye.
“It seems to fit but now we wait to see how the eye reacts. Hopefully he is available because otherwise we have to find a solution. It will be a late decision.
“It is always important to have my leaders. Without a doubt Timm and Grant are in that category. Grant has not played for 11 weeks or so in the first team. It is a season of bad luck for him. Even in pre-season he had an injury, then a longer muscle injury and now this eye problem. He is our captain and he is important for us not only on the pitch but in the changing room.
“Timm is not available for Bristol. I am not happy with the situation. I hoped he would be available because the diagnosis was not too bad. There is still some blood in the knee. Not a big injury but too painful. He is doing some running and we hope he is back in team training on Tuesday.”
In more positive news, Moritz Leitner is back in training after his calf injury but will not be considered for 90 minutes at Ashton Gate.
“Moritz is ok. He was out for two-and-a-half weeks,” said Farke. “It is not perfect. Moritz has worked a lot during his rehab. But just able to join us in the last two days. He will travel with us to Bristol.
“He is not available for 90 minutes. You could start but he would not end the game. With a calf injury we have to be careful. If we need to take some risk to bring him in he could do 45 minutes.”
Scottish international Kenny McLean and Matt Jarvis returned to action in Thursday’s Premier League International Cup 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg’s Under-23s.
“The next important step,” said Farke. “Kenny has been out for nearly 13 weeks and just re-joined us in team training four or five days. We spoke about whether it would make sense to play him but we felt 45 minutes would be okay. He looked good. I was at the game and he looked sharp. I think he would need maybe another one or two games at that level and one or two weeks in team training before he comes into the thoughts for the first team.”
Midfielder Louis Thompson is back in light training after his shoulder injury.
Carlton Morris remains on the comeback trail after a long term absence, while striker Nelson Oliveira is out of favour although the Portugal international did feature for the Under-23s on Thursday.
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