Chesterfield boss Dean Saunders will check on Drew Talbot before finalising his plans for tomorrow’s home game against Wigan.
The 29-year-old suffered an ankle knock in training last week and missed the 2-0 win at Millwall, where recent signing from West Brom Liam O’Neil, a midfielder by trade, filled in at right-back in his absence.
Talbot is rated at 50/50 to recover in time but Saunders will be hoping he can return to the starting line up as that would provide a simple solution to another selection problem he has.
The club confirmed yesterday that Angel Martinez will be sidelined for around six months with the knee injury he suffered in training this week. Should Talbot come back in, O’Neil would revert to his more accustomed role to cover for the loss of Martinez.
“It’s an option we’re looking at,” said Saunders. “Liam O’Neil can play there, although he did well for us at right-back last Saturday. He is a midfield player who can play there.
“But we’ll see how Drew’s ankle is on Saturday and make a decision then. Drew is going to have to recover quickly but he’s 50/50 for Saturday.”
Should Talbot not make it, Charlie Raglan could make his first league start of the season, possibly in the centre of defence with Sam Hird moving wide or indeed Raglan could be selected at full-back.
Alternatively, Saunders could prefer not to disrupt the back line which kept a clean sheet at Millwall and recall Ollie Banks in midfield.
Elsewhere, Lee Novak will probably be restored to the starting line up with Gboly Ariyibi away on international duty with the USA Under-23 squad.
Saunders added: “Lee Novak is fine. He just couldn’t play last Saturday because of the rules to do with concussion - you have to miss the next game. But he’s alright now and he is ready to start.
“Gboly Ariyibi is away and he’s a loss because he can turn a game in a second. But it’s good to have players representing their countries because it shows they have value.``
Ariyibi came on as a 86th-minute substitute last night during his side’s 1-0 defeat to the England Under-21 team at Preston’s Deepdale stadium.