HUDDERSFIELD Town's Danny Ward faces at least six weeks on the sidelines in a new setback for Simon Grayson.
Town’s boss had hoped to welcome back the winger (left) at Watford on Saturday after five matches out with a knee injury, then illness.
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But Ward broke a metatarsal during the build-up to the Championship game at Vicarage Road, where Town slumped 4-0 to drop to 18th.
Grayson is also keeping tabs on Adam Clayton, who left the Hertfordshire ground on crutches as a precaution against aggravating a blow to the shin which forced him off at half-time.
Meanwhile Jack Hunt was also hobbling by the final whistle as Town’s run of league games without a win was stretched to 12.
Ward’s injury, in particular, is a fresh headache for Grayson, who as pressure mounts, insists he is the right man to lead the club away from a possible fight for second-tier survival (see Final Whistle pull-out).
“We were working on having Danny back in the side, but he caught his foot awkwardly during a training session,” explained Grayson.
“He felt pain so we sent him for a scan which revealed the fracture.
“It means he is out for another six to eight weeks, and that’s a setback both for the club and the player.”
Town have until January 31 to bring in reinforcements as they battle to halt an alarming slump in fortunes.
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Grayson hopes Joel Lynch will have recovered from his hamstring problem in time to be considered for Saturday’s home FA Cup fourth-round clash against Championship rivals Leicester, who have sold out their 4,000-strong ticket allocation.
The Wales international defender has missed the last three games.
Leicester are second in the table after claiming a 1-0 home win over Middlesbrough on Friday.