Bristol Rovers injury news for Carlisle United as Grant Ward update given by Andy Mangan

Bristol Rovers interim manager Andy Mangan provides injury team news ahead of League One trip to Carlisle.
Grant Ward v Charlton Athletic (Credit: Getty Images)Grant Ward v Charlton Athletic (Credit: Getty Images)
Grant Ward v Charlton Athletic (Credit: Getty Images)

Bristol Rovers travel to newly promoted Carlisle in League One on Saturday, in what will be Andy Mangan's fourth game in charge as caretaker boss.

Rovers head into the weekend off the back of a 1-1 draw in midweek, against bottom-of-the-league Reading.

Gasheads will be wondering if key-midfielder Grant Ward will be fit again, with the 28-year old having only made six league appearances for Mangan's side so far this season.

"He’s really close, so that's another positive for the squad," said Mangan.

"The legs that he gives us, the distance that he covers and the quality that he has, we'll be really lucky when Grant Ward comes back."

The former Blackpool player came off at half-time in Rovers' 4-2 defeat away at Burton Albion last month.

"He's just been unfortunate really because he had that period of the time out.

"We just have to be careful again," said Mangan.

The midfielder has had a reoccurring injury issue that he first sustained when he ruptured his achilles tendon back in 2021.

"What I can't do even in the situation that I'm in at the moment is risk Ward.

"You have to have an obligation to the player, to make sure that he’s looked after, so he will come back when he's fit and ready.

"He's very close and we can't wait to have him," added the interim manager.

Noticeable absentees ahead of the weekend include Luca Hoole, who will remain sidelined for another three weeks and has subsequently been left out of the Wales U21 Euro qualification camp.

Jordan Rossiter and Luke McCormick both remain out with respective injuries, alongside Jack Hunt who had started life at Bristol Rovers in brilliant form both scoring and assisting twice from right-back.

The 32-year old hasn't featured for Rovers since the defeat at Oxford United last month and Gasheads will be desperate for the return of the former Sheffield Wednesday defender.

Below is how we think the Gas may line-up to face the Blues this weekend.

Predicted XI:

Cox; Gibbons, Taylor, Wilson, Friend; Bogarde, Evans, Thomas, Vale; Collins, Martin