Bristol Rovers have been given a slight boost as Exeter City’s injury situation has not yet eased up, which could force Matt Taylor in to naming a youthful bench.
The Grecians, like the Gas, are without more than a handful of their first-team players with their centre of defence hit the hardest, which could be an aea Rovers can exploit.
Exeter had hoped to have had some players back after most missed the convincing 4-0 win over Forest Green Rovers last Saturday, but today’s match has come too soon.
Sam Stubbs, Cheick Diabate and Jonathan Grounds all played their part in helping the Devon side get promoted, but are all absent for today’s clash at St James Park.
Midfielders Harry Kite, Tim Dieng and long-term absentee Kyle Taylor, are also set to miss out.
“Tim hasn’t trained yet, but he was outside today,” Exeter boss Matt Taylor said to DevonLive. ““Harry Kite was also outside, but they are outside with the physio.
“We always felt it would be 4-6 weeks for those and they will have to tick off probably two or three sessions with the physio and do the strength work they need to do in terms of their running stats before they can join in with themselves, so they have no chance of making it this weekend.
“I am praying that when we go into the three game week next week, we might have a couple of bodies that are available to sit on the bench and that is with no disrespect to our Under-18 players on the bench.
“When you turn around and think about your midfield and defensive options, we are only one moment, one sending off, one injury away from being in real dire straits in terms of positions.”
Rovers themselves are still in somewhat of an injury crisis with several players sidelined but the situation is improving.
James Gibbons and Lewis Gibson are the closest to returning and could play against Crystal Palace’s U21’s on Tuesday evening. Josh Coburn was meant to play for Middlesbrough on Friday evening, but is now set to link up with the squad next Sunday.
James Connolly however is waiting for a thumbs up from a specialist as to whether he can step up the next phase of his recovery. Utility man Josh Grant however has had to deal with a knee injury which has limited him to just one appearance this season.