Bristol Rovers boss John Ward completes deal to sign striker Oumare Tounkara
Bristol Rovers boss John Ward has this morning completed a deal to sign free agent Oumare Tounkara after confirming that David Clarkson is to miss the remainder of the season due to a persistent ankle injury.
Tounkara, 22, has agreed a short-term deal until the end of the season and goes straight into the squad for the game against Burton Albion at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Ward said: "We’ve done our background on Oumare and he has also been very impressive in training with us.
"Getting him to join us on a short-term deal is another good addition to the group and gives me further options ahead of the last 12 games.
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"We have a group of four very good strikers that are all of a different type and that gives us added strength not only in the starting line-up, but also from the bench."
Ward, meanwhile, is hopeful that striker Ryan Brunt, who has missed the last two games, will also be fit and available to return, but Clarkson needs an operation to repair an ankle problem that has dogged him for most of the season and will not feature again between now and the end of the campaign.
Ward said:"We have a chance of getting Ryan back again. He trained pretty hard on Wednesday and will be doing some more work with Phil Kite this(Thursday) morning.
"If everything goes well we will have him back with the group on Friday morning in preparation for the game on Saturday."
On Clarkson, Ward added: "David needs an operation and won't play again this season. His ankle is not right so we really have to look at that.
"It is a shame because David is a senior member of the squad and an important player for us, but he just can’t get that ankle right."
Wideman Fabian Broghammer is also 'doubtful' due to an on-going hamstring problem, but defender Clayton McDonald returns after missing Tuesday night's defeat at Northampton to be at the birth of his new-born son.