ADAM McGurk’s recovery from a groin injury has taken longer than expected – but Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett is hopeful of having the 10-goal striker available for the play-offs.
The 25-year-old attacker has missed the last three games since developing the problem, robbing the Brewers of their most creative front runner.
He is doubtful for the weekend’s trip to Southend – the last game of the regular season – but should be fine for the play-offs, which start on the weekend of May 10 and 11.
“Adam’s recovering slowly and hasn’t recovered as quickly as we thought,” said Rowett. “He’s unfortunately going to struggle for this weekend, which is a blow.
“But a week of training next week is the plan.”
Injuries have really bitten Albion in recent weeks.
Centre-half Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, a vital cog in the back four, picked up an Achilles problem and will only return in the second leg of the play-offs at the earliest.
In-form winger Jimmy Phillips tore his posterior cruciate ligament at Newport County on Easter Monday and left-back Damien McCrory finally had to give up his fight against a painful knee cartilage injury and have an operation which will keep him out until pre-season.
Zeli Ismail, meanwhile, is just back from a torn hamstring he sustained in March, an injury which really took the wind out of the Brewers’ sails.
“At this stage I would love to have a magic wand and get them all back fit - but what can you do?” said Rowett.
“You can only deal with what you’ve got. You get on with it and do your best.”
Ismail’s return has been timely ahead of the play-offs and Rowett has extended the loan of Walsall winger Ashley Hemmings, as well as recalling he left-sided Chris Hussey from Bury.
“I felt it was important to keep potential game winners in the side,” said the manager. “Ash has got that in his game.
“Zeli has definitely got that, too, and is that type of player.
“There’s no point at this stage sending these players back from their loans.
“Getting Zeli back is important - we’re going to need these types of players in the team in the next few weeks.”