McDonald looking to start after injury

Chris Lakey Cody McDonald looks set to make his first claim for a regular starting place this afternoon after overcoming a knee injury which has restricted him to only two brief appearances in pre-season.

Chris Lakey

Cody McDonald looks set to make his first claim for a regular starting place this afternoon after overcoming a knee injury which has restricted him to only two brief appearances in pre-season.

The striker had a short cameo role against his former club, Dartford, three weeks ago but managed just 17 minutes action on the three-game tour of Scotland.

But the 23-year-old has been training this week and will feature at some stage against Wigan today - although central defender Michael Nelson is out after suffering concussion during the win at Creystal palace on Tuesday.


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“It's just precautionary,” said manager Bryan Gunn. “He is desperate to play, but at the same time it was a big bang, it was 10, 15 seconds out and we have put him in a cotton wool situation and we will not take any chances. There is no reason to at this stage and we'll give him an extra week's rest before we pick the team and squad for next week.”

New signing Jens Berthel Askou is the obvious replacement, although international clearance was still being sought for the Dane late yesterday, as well as for new striker Goran Maric.

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The only other definite absentees are left back Rhoys Wiggins, who is still working his way back to full fitness after knee surgery, and Dejan Stefanovic, whose return after a long injury absence was hampered by illness this week. Midfielder Darel Russell is highly unlikely to figure, although Burnley have not yet returned with an improved offer.

Winger Simon Whaley missed the team's open training session on Thursday with a dead leg, but trained yesterday, as did Adam Drury and Grant holt, who both picked up minor foot injuries at Palace.

With niggling injuries clearing quickly, Gunn is hoping for a season free of major problems.

“Apart from a couple of minor knocks we have been fairly fortunate in pre-season in terms of injury so it would be nice if that continued throughout the season because we have been blighted over the past couple of seasons with some important players out and let's hope maybe our luck is changing in that department as well,” he said.

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