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More Injury Worries!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 17/12/2002

PAUL Groves faces a testing week as Mariners boss as his already stretched squad has been hit by another glut of injuries in preparation for the big relegation clash against Sheffield Wednesday this Saturday at Blundell Park.

Steve Livingstone is a major doubt after he needed stitches in his foot following the defeat at Preston. Jason Gavin has an injured ankle, Stacy Coldicott is nursing a sore back and Simon Ford is suffering from illness.

Barnard, Campbell and McDermott all look likely to miss the 'local derby' whilst long-term absentee Steve Chettle is still recovering from a two-month lay-off with a back problem.

"If the game was tonight we'd be seriously down on the numbers front and it just shows what we're up against," said Groves, speaking to the Grimsby Telegraph.

"While we've been lucky with long-term injuries, the little niggles that take a week to clear up will be a problem. Over the Christmas period we'll be playing Saturday, Thursday, Saturday, Thursday and there will be no recovery time.

"We're coming into a busy period as one or two other clubs have found out. Clubs are being fairly reluctant on releasing players at this time of year because they're facing a busy time themselves.

"They need all their bodies, but we'll still be asking the questions and trying to get someone in." Groves' planned swoop for Michael Boulding is unlikely to take place before the game on Saturday because of Quick Mick's own injury problem.

The vital six-pointer against Wednesday might force Groves into starting Ward, Raven and Cooke, whilst Rowan may be given a starting role up front to partner Mansaram if Livingstone doesn't recover in time.

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