Bristol to check injuries
Bristol's mounting injury problems are verging on an epidemic, with Liam Middleton awaiting news of the knee problem that forced Ross Johnston off during the Championship win at Doncaster.
Head coach Middleton was forced into a pre-match reshuffle when scrum-half James Grindal and flanker Iain Grieve, the club captain, failed fitness tests on minor injuries and were forced to sit out the 18-9 win at Castle Park.
With No 8 Marco Mama and full-back David McIlwaine having joined the injury list after the previous weekend's defeat against Newcastle, Middleton went into the game in Yorkshire without 12 injured players and a further two missing as they await clearance to play in England.
So the sight of try-scoring hooker Johnston hobbling off – helped by members of Bristol's staff – midway through the second half hardly cheered Middleton.
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"Grindal and Grieve are short-term ones: I think they'll be in the mix for selection for the Pirates game – and it's nice to have some players coming back, rather than going out," said Middleton.