MANAGER Andy Ritchie today admitted no timescale can be put on injured Town captain Jon Worthington’s return to duty.
And with West Brom midfielder Ronnie Wallwork’s month on loan ending after the trip to Tranmere two weeks today, the Galpharm chief says the 24-year-old’s ongoing groin problem is a big cause for concern.
Without Wallwork, who plays his fourth League I game for the club at Doncaster on Sunday (4.00), Town have no like-for-like replacement for Worthington.
And that will add to Ritchie’s eagerness to extend the former Manchester United man’s stay into a second month.
“Jon’s injury is very frustrating for him and a big worry for me,” said Ritchie, who hasn’t been able to select the Academy product since the 2-0 home defeat by Carlisle on August 25.
“He’s an influential player at this club, and being without him is a big blow.”
Worthington has been plagued by groin problems, with last season’s insertion of a strengthening mesh his third operation in as many years.
As the skipper figured in the first four matches of the season, it seemed he had recovered well.
But Worthington has been feeling discomfort which has worsened over the last five days.
Having played a full Reserve game last week, he managed the first half only when Town lost 3-0 to Coventry on Monday.
The specialist who performed the operation will now try an injection in a bid to settle the inflammation which appears to be causing the pain.
“Jon always knew there would be some aggravation, because the scar tissue takes time to heal, but at its current level, it’s preventing him from operating properly,” said Ritchie.
“We saw the specialist this week, and he will do the injection on Wednesday.
“Jon has another appointment booked seven days after that, and if things haven’t settled down by then, we’ll decide on the best course of action.
“We desperately want to get him fit again, but we have to bear in mind that the fix needs to be permanent and not temporary.
“At this stage, there’s no way we can estimate the likely comeback period.”
l Derby build-up – Pages 54 & 55.