Anderson, Coutts, & Grant: Bristol Rovers injury state of play ahead of Forest Green test

Josh Grant has been limited to just one appearance for Bristol Rovers this season. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Josh Grant has been limited to just one appearance for Bristol Rovers this season. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Josh Grant has been limited to just one appearance for Bristol Rovers this season. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The Gas could welcome back a forgotten man to the fold - if his recovery goes to plan

Long-term absentee Josh Grant is back in training with Bristol Rovers as he steps up his recovery from a knee injury that has ruled him out of most of this campaign.

Utility man Grant encountered some problems in pre-season and has played just 10 minutes this season, coming on as a substitute against Oxford United. The 24-year-old had surgery back in October which Joey Barton ruled him out for the campaign, but there could be an outside chance he features towards the end of the campaign.

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Grant has not yet resumed full training but is back on the training pitches in Almondsbury as he pushes for a return after being sidelined since early August. The former Chelsea youngster missed a large chunk of the second half of the promotion-winning campaign last year and is out of contract in the summer.

"A couple of lads have gone down with illness," said Barton when asked about the current injury status of the squad. "We’ll check on them in the morning.

"Apart from that, we’ve got Josh Grant back on the grass, but he is going to be building his body back up, but it’s a pleasing sign this week to see Josh running around. He’s not quite with the team yet but he’s gone through a tough period as a player and good signs he’s back on the grass."

Harry Anderson is out for the next four-to-six weeks after it was revealed that he had a groin injury last week. Anderson missed the goalless draw with Barnsley and posted an update that he underwent successful surgery last weekend. It’s been a stop-start campaign for the 26-year-old who like Grant is out of contract at the end of the campaign.

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Barton said: “I think H will be back as long as he doesn’t have a setback. He’s out of contract in the summer and you don’t want to be going into a pre-season or season when you’re not in contract and your body isn’t 100%. We need to get some closure on that and hopefully, this operation is the end of that for him."

Club captain Paul Coutts missed the goalless draw with Barnsley last weekend through injury. He was due to be in the match-day squad but was later replaced by Luke McCormick. The 34-year-old suffered a knee injury in training last week but withdrew at the eleventh hour last Saturday.

Asked whether Coutts could feature this weekend, his manager said: “He hasn’t trained as of yet so no, we’re hoping he is alright tomorrow. He’s had a couple of injections that hopefully settles it down and we’ll make a call on him in the morning.

“He’ll probably be touch-and-go again. Hopefully, he feels okay in the morning and gives us the green light. We’ve got a Tuesday game and a Saturday game, we’ve got to manage this group through this period.

"It’s just a case of sometimes you can aggravate little things and frustrating for the lads. You’ve got to trust mother nature and let your body have time to recover."

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