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Shrewsbury Town hope for triple fitness boost

Shrewsbury Town are hoping injured trio Shaun Whalley, Brad Walker and Josh Vela may be ready to play some part against Doncaster on Saturday.

Shaun Whalley picked up a hamstring injury in Shrewsbury's FA Cup tie at Anfield earlier this month (AMA)
Shaun Whalley picked up a hamstring injury in Shrewsbury's FA Cup tie at Anfield earlier this month (AMA)

Sam Ricketts’ men have been struck down by a handful of damaging knocks in recent weeks but could be boosted for the important home League One clash.

Whalley has not featured since the FA Cup replay at Anfield, where he limped off with a hamstring injury late on.

But Shrews are hopeful he could play a part in training this week and at least take a place on the bench.

Central midfielder Walker picked up a similar muscle injury in training a fortnight ago at a time when under-fire boss Ricketts could ill-afford to lose any more midfielders, but he too is nearing a return.

Vela, 26, a January signing from Scottish Premiership side Hibernian is yet to make his debut for Shrewsbury after picking up a quad injury before Christmas and Town are keen to ease him in to ensure no long-term damage is caused.

Ricketts maintains that the former Bolton stalwart is a coup and that he will prove a significant boost when available for Shrews, who are 10 without a win in the league.

The Town boss insists the week has been a crucial one for his side’s recovery. He has said in recent weeks that his squad are down to the ‘bare bones’.

It is just the second week in 2020 that Shrewsbury have been without a midweek clash.

“We’ll have to see how that one goes but hopefully so, we want some players back,” Ricketts said when asked about hamstring victims Whalley and Walker returning to training.

“We’re also missing Josh Vela, who we’ve taken in and has slightly gone under the radar but is a very, very good acquisition for the club.

“We’re taking a long-term view on him to make sure he’s right.

“The club’s and his long-term future are more important than the immediate one, even though we are in a difficult period results-wise.

“My job is to make sure we are progressing and growing.

“Results are extremely frustrating at the minute but we have to make sure we’re doing things right and Josh is part of that.”

Two Montgomery Waters Meadow clashes in four days see Shrewsbury desperate to end their winless league run that stretches back almost two months.

After the visit of Doncaster, they welcome back former boss Micky Mellon and his Tranmere side on Tuesday night.

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