LIAM COOPER’S blossoming season could be put on ice for up to a month.
Huddersfield Town’s on-loan Hull defender is out for at least a fortnight after suffering a back spasm during Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy derby against Bradford.
And manager Lee Clark revealed it could take four weeks to get him back to full fitness.
“The positive is that there is no damage in terms of discs or a fracture,” said Clark, who is preparing his side to face Stevenage at the Galpharm tomorrow.
“It’s a muscular issue, and the medics say Liam is looking at between two and four weeks on the sidelines.
“That’s a blow, because I’ve been very pleased by his work in training and his recent form in matches.”
The 20-year-old former Scotland youth international made an early entrance from the bench to play at left-back in place of Calum Woods as Town won 4-0 at Brentford last Saturday to go fifth in League I.
That was followed by a start in his more usual centre-back berth for the midweek JPT meeting, which Bradford won on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
“Liam felt pain after going up for a header just before half-time, and the problem intensified. He was struggling to get in the showers afterwards,” added Clark.
Midfielder Oscar Gobern, forced off by a dead leg even earlier in the Bradford game, is responding to treatment and could be available against 14th-placed Stevenage while Woods, who felt a hamstring twinge at Brentford, is due to train today.
“They are a hard-working and well-drilled side,” said Clark, who is without Jordan Rhodes (Scotland Under 21 duty) and Jamie McCombe (suspension).
“They have shown what they are about with two successive promotions, so we’ll have to be on our game.”