Ahead of Saturday’s game at Oxford United, Brian Barry-Murphy says the injury situation in the squad is starting to look a lot healthier.
After seeing Eoghan O’Connell and Matty Done return to the squad in recent games, Ryan McLaughlin and Rekeil Pyke have also returned to training following spells on the sidelines.
However, defenders Jim McNulty and Tyler Magloire remained out of action for a number of weeks, along with Stephen Dooley.
“Our injury situation at the moment is starting to look a lot healthier”, said the Dale boss.
“One of the most pleasing things over the past couple of weeks has been the rewards for the squad and the people who, like I said, put the team above themselves in times of adversity.
“In the game against AFC Wimbledon and even against Accrington Stanley when we were really struggling physically, a lot of our players were rushed back from injury, something that I really don’t want to do in terms of the players’ wellbeing, but the players were desperate to put themselves ahead of where they should have been for the team.
“We have Ryan McLaughlin back in training, but again it’s a tricky situation because we’re trying to build him up gradually after being out for such a long time.
“Rekeil Pyke having his first days back in training gives us a lot of hope that he’ll be able to build-up gradually and for a prolonged spell of time this time, rather than an interrupted spell as he’s had so far this season.
“Jim McNulty still remains in the early stages of his rehabilitation, which is going to be a mid-term injury in terms of longer than a month’s time, so it’s going to be difficult for Jimmy to get back before that. He’s very focused on his recovery period and he tends to recovery very quickly, so we’re hopeful that he’ll get back sooner than anticipated.
“Tyler Magloire is making good progress back at Blackburn so that gives us a lot of hope that he’ll be back sooner rather than later.
“I’m always wary of timescales, because every time I put a timescale on an injury it gets pushed back, or like when I diagnosed Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s injury last season as a six-week job, and it was a two-day job – so I have a habit of getting it wrong! I’m very hopeful that those players will be back sooner rather than later.”
Goalkeeper Robert Sánchez is set to miss out on the game at Grenoble Road after missing Dale’s last two games, but Barry-Murphy has been impressed with Jay Lynch who has stepped in between the sticks.
“Robert’s knee injury is not bad at all and we’re pleased with the diagnosis from Brighton, where he’s back receiving treatment.
“We’re very hopeful that he’ll be back training with us next week and to have him available for next weekend’s game, rather than this weekend’s game, which he won’t be available for.
“Obviously, we’ve planned for this. Jay Lynch has been training exceptionally well, and that competition is a big part of the reason why Robert has been so good. He feels the pressure from Jay, and they’ve both been working in tandem with Josh Lillis who has been a standard setter for our Club for the past number of years.
“There’s a very competitive nature amongst those goalkeepers and with Brad Wade coming back from Barrow, he’s added to that. He’s one of our young goalkeepers that we have high hopes for.
“The work rate put in by that goalkeeping department has to be of that standard that we demand to bring it to that elite levels. It’s there at the moment and we want that to be enhanced and made even more competitive in the months ahead.”
Click HERE to watch Brian Barry-Murphy’s pre-match interview in full.