Bristol Rovers duo David Clarkson and Jim Paterson ruled out of Plymouth clash
Injured duo David Clarkson and Jim Paterson have been ruled out of Bristol Rovers' crunch New Year's Day clash against Plymouth Argyle.
The pair were set to miss this afternoon's game at Cheltenham Town prior to a late postponement and Rovers boss John Ward has since confirmed that neither player will be available for selection for the game at the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday (1pm).
Ward said: "I don't think there is a chance of Jim or David being fit for the Plymouth match, but at least it means they miss one less that they might have.
"Jim has a hamstring tweak, but if he trains too early on that it could become more serious than it is. David's ankle, which he twisted on Wednesday, is still quite swollen and he will miss out next week."
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Skipper Garry Kenneth will also miss out because his one-game suspension will now carry over, while striker Tom Eaves has returned to parent club Bolton Wanderers after his 93-day emergency loan deal expired on Saturday.
Danny Woodards, who would have missed the Cheltenham game due to illness, will return, but Ward will still need to act quickly in an attempt to draft new faces into a threadbare squad as soon as the transfer window opens on January 1.
"Spaces need filling and experience is required, so I am trying very hard to do something about the situation," Ward said. "We've been checking the availability of potential signings and I'm hopeful there might be a couple of new faces in the squad by the time we play Plymouth."
Ward, meanwhile, described Saturday's postponement at the Abbey Business Stadium as a 'double-edged sword' after injuries and suspensions had left him with a young and inexperienced group of players to choose from.
The game was called off on Saturday morning after heavy rainfall in Cheltenham left the pitch in an unplayable state.
"The postponement was a bit of a double-edged sword from our point of view," Ward admitted. "We had a few injuries and suspensions that threw things around a little.
"We still would have liked to have played the game because now Tom Eaves has missed the chance of a good send off from our supporters and Garry Kenneth will now miss the Plymouth game because his suspension will carry over.
"The biggest disappointment, however, is for our supporters. We had sold out our allocation of around 1,500 tickets. That would have been a massive backing for our group of players and would have let them know in no uncertain terms what this club and those who support us are all about.
"I feel for those supporters more than the players because we can re-adjust, but the supporters have paid money out and have not had the chance to see a game of football."
Supporters who have already purchased tickets for this match will be able to use them for the re-arranged date which will be announced when confirmed between both clubs. Alternatively, refunds will be available after January 8.