Nigel Pearson says that Bristol City will have a full bench to choose from against Swansea City as he provides an injury update on the squad.
The Robins' U21's side lost to Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals of the Premier League Cup on Monday, and the 59-year-old opted against including any more youth players against Luton Town, which meant they had only six substitutes to choose from. Academy graduates Omar Taylor-Clarke and Sam Bell came on but could not affect the outcome of the game, as they lost 1-0 to the Hatters.
City's defeat to Luton was just the second loss in the Championship of 2023, and Sunday's match against Swansea City is the final match before the international period. At the start of the year, the club went on a long unbeaten run, and it had put them a few places off of the play-offs but a spate of injuries has affected them. Joe Williams and Rob Atkinson have seen their campaigns ended through serious injuries, with Pearson's options limited.
"We should have another three back after the international break which is good for us," he said to the club's official media channel Robins TV.
"The only reason we didn’t put any more players on the bench is because our Under-21’s had a two-hour ordeal two days before. We would have put at least one of those players on the bench, we’ll have a full compliment for this game.
"We’ll see whether we get somebody back for this game. We may get somebody back."
Matty James had been doubtful for the last two matches after sustaining an ankle injury against Huddersfield Town last Tuesday. He wasn't risked in midweek against Luton, and whilst he has not been ruled out completely, there is a slight hint from his manager that he will return instead for the Reading game on April 1.
Kal Naismith and Tommy Conway should both return when the international break is over, with both out for more than a month. Naismith complained of a calf problem which had him sidelined in October, and that re-emerged in February, causing him to miss the glamour FA Cup tie with Manchester City.
Conway meanwhile was City's top scorer, and was enjoying a breakthrough season with nine goals this year. He suffered a hamstring tendon injury against Sunday's opponents Swansea in the FA Cup in early January, and Pearson's time frame of 10 weeks looks to have been proved right.
"The likes of Matty James, Kal Naismith and Tommy Conway, should be available after the break," said Pearson in a positive update however.
"It’s positive and hopefully Tomas Kalas will be making more progress. It will be an encouragement for us too. It comes as a decent time for us, but we want to finish these group of games with a good result. "