Joey Barton issues worrying injury update as Bristol Rovers star could miss season

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The Gas are set to welcome one player back - but his teammates campaign could be done

Bristol Rovers may have to face being without influential midfielder Jordan Rossiter for the rest of the season, admits manager Joey Barton.

Rossiter has been out of action since mid-December after sustaining a knee injury in the EFL Trophy victory over MK Dons. The former Liverpool youth star damaged his meniscus and despite a return of early February pencilled in, he has suffered a setback in his recovery.

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At the end of January, Barton revealed that Rossiter returned to training but had suffered a setback, and that there would be no specific time frame for his return. The 25-year-old had a flare up and sought advice from the physios and underwent surgery, and now there will be a waiting game for news on whether he is able to play any further part in the campaign.

Rossiter's presence has been missed in the centre of the park, and he has not only been missing with Ryan Loft and Sam Finley both suspended in recent weeks, whilst club captain Paul Coutts missed two games through illness. Several members of the squad came down with sickness last week in the build-up to Burton, with Luke McCormick forced out entirely, and others like Josh Coburn and Lewis Gordon having to drop to the bench.

Rovers have some good news however as on-loan Everton centre-back Lewis Gibson could come into contention to play in their next match against Oxford United. Gibson has been out since New Years Day with a thigh injury and could now offer his manager another option to choose from in defence.

"I think they are having a right go, we are just a little bit lower in confidence," said Barton who was making an admission about the current state-of-play in his squad.

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"We’ve had Couttsy out with a bout of illness and have had to miss games. Sam Finley and Ryan Loft have had a retrospective ban, Jordy Rossiter looks like he is going to miss the season."

"Lewis Gibson is hopefully on the mend and should come back into the squad all being well next week, which I think will really help us."

Oxford United is up next for Barton and his side, and the U's are out of form, with six defeats in seven, identical to Rovers' current losing streak. Rovers are set to be backed by a sold-out away end, and the manager knows that the experiences that the supporters have gone through before when on a bad run of form can be used for something positive.

“We’ve just got to keep battling and scrapping through," said Barton. Gasheads know this club has been through a lot of turmoil at the same I certainly have been here and a lot longer beyond that.

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"They are well-versed in tough moments and this is one of them. This is something that is in our control. There will be no sulking from us, no excuses and we'll be back on the training pitch and we’ll be ready to rock and roll against Oxford next Saturday.

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