Coburn, Gibson, Grant, Loft: full Bristol Rovers injury list and potential return dates

It’s a case of the walking wounded at Bristol Rovers with so many players out with injury

Bristol Rovers injury news ahead of their League One fixture against Lincoln City.

Bristol Rovers are back in front of their home supporters when they welcome Lincoln City to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday (15.00 BST).

The Gas played in midweek, suffering a 2-0 defeat to League One leaders Ipswich Town, which extended their winless run to five matches.

Joey Barton’s side want that winning feeling again as they search for three points against a side that are only two places above them.

We take a look at the injury list at the Mem and when we might see players return to action in the blue and white quarters.

Ryan Loft

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What happened

With no game last Saturday because of the Queen’s passing, Rovers played an intra-squad match to maintain fitness levels.

Loft sustained an injury which saw him miss the defeat to Ipswich Town but he is pushing to be a part of Saturday’s match.

What’s been said?

Speaking pre-match on Tuesday to BBC Radio Bristol, Barton said: “Lofty (Ryan) picked up a bit of a knock in the 11 versus 11 we had on Saturday.

“He was touch and go for the game tonight but hasn’t made it. “He’s gonna be hopefully available for the weekend’s game but we are still not sure on that.”

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Potential return game

Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City, Saturday, 17 September or Bristol Rovers v Accrington Stanley, Saturday, 24 September.

Lewis Gibson is back working with Joey Barton, this time at Bristol Rovers. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Lewis Gibson

What happened

The on-loan Everton centre-back has been missing for the last three matches due to minor calf tear.

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What’s been said

Lincoln City is likely to be too soon for Gibson but the match against Accrington Stanley is when he could return.

After a difficult year at Sheffield Wednesday due to injuries, there is a hope he can put that behind him.

Barton said on Thursday: “He hasn’t trained today. He’s going to struggle. He’s got a realistic chance for next week. For me, it’s the case of, for the end of this year and end of this season you hope to get him into a position where he can play more regularly.

Potential return game

Accrington Stanley (H), Saturday, 24 September.

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Harry Anderson

What happened

In what was a frustrating night at Portman Road, Anderson was forced off with an injury in the 15th minute. It was revealed to be a toe injury.

What’s been said

Barton said: “We’re seeing how that settles down because we were worried it’s maybe a broken toe or a broken foot. Thankfully it’s not a broken bone because that would have meant a really long lay off but sometimes bruising can be really really painful and in the wrong part of the body, bone bruising can feel worse than a break.

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“Hopefully that settles down really quickly. Is that going to bring him into Saturday’s contention? I’m not sure but we’re hoping it’s days, not weeks.”

Potential return game

Best case scenario - Accrington Stanley (H), Saturday, 24 September

Josh Grant

What happened

Grant for the second part of last season encountered some injury problems, such as a foot injury sustained against Sutton United in February.

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An injury sustained in pre-season put the former Chelsea youngster on the sidelines for a few weeks but he did play a bit-part role against Oxford United, but has not been seen since.

He had been training a fortnight ago but has seemingly suffered a setback in his attempts for his latest run.

What’s been said

In his pre-match press conference for Lincoln Barton said: “He’s such a talented boy but you don’t get a chance to get your talent in play unless you’re out on the grass.

“He doesn’t need me bleating about it. You can see he’s so frustrated because he feels he makes two steps forward and three or four back. I wish I could give him my legs. They’re a bit fatter and hairier than his but I was always robust during my career.”

Potential return game

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Unknown.

James Connolly

First-choice centre-back Connolly sustained a back injury, which was revealed to be a stress fracture in the bottom of the back. The best case scenario was a month out with the injury reported towards the end of last month, whilst in the worst case it could be two months.

What’s been said

In his pre-match Lincoln presser, Barton didn’t name names but he said the worst case scenario would be a month with Connolly likely to be included in that.

He said: “We’ve got lads in the worst case scenario who are about a month away and a couple of lads who are a couple of weeks away and a week away. “You can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the problem is if anything gets exacerbated in the short-term.

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Potential return game

Best case scenario: Exeter City, Saturday, October 1. Worst case scenario: Derby County, Saturday, October 29.

James Gibbons

What happened

Right-sided defender Gibbons suffered a stress fracture which put him in a protective boot for six weeks. It was reported that he could miss up to three months of action after a foot injury.

What’s been said

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The summer signing from Port Vale was making progress and could return ahead of schedule.

"Gibbo is back walking today so he is out of the boot and he is load-bearing," Barton said after the Morecambe match.

He was eight weeks scheduled and he’s two or three weeks into that. If he’s quicker than that, great, but it’s going to be another month before he’s back in contention to play.”

Potential return game

Best-case scenario: Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United, Saturday, October 8.

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Josh Coburn

What happened

Coburn joined the Gas on deadline day on a season-long loan but arrived from Middlesbrough with a knee injury sustained when playing in the Championship.

Boro had always planned to loan him out and Rovers were always taking a risk when taking a player injured, but they are willing to play the long game.

What’s been said

On the fifth of September, Barton gave an injury update and claimed it would be ‘like new signings’ when talking about the returns of Gibbons, Connolly and Coburn.

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He said: “I think he and James Gibbons will be in around the same time, so whether that’s a month from today I’m not sure. I think Josh Coburn is about the same, but when they come back it’s like three new signings."

Potential return game

Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United, Saturday, October 8