BURTON Albion were last night waiting to find out how long defender Shane Cansdell-Sherriff will be out with a fractured cheekbone.
The 31-year-old sustained a triple break of his cheek towards the end of the 0-0 draw at Mansfield on New Year’s Day.
He went for a scan yesterday to discover the extent of the damage, but will be out for a few weeks at the least.
“It’s a big blow to us,” said manager Gary Rowett. “But it makes the decision to have so many good centre-halves at the club a good one.
“Marcus (Holness) and Zander (Diamond) are both very good players.
“We’ll have to look at the games and see which is the most appropriate side to pick for each one.”
Cansdell-Sherriff had only signed on loan for the rest of the season a day before the injury struck.
Since he joined Albion on loan in September, they have kept eight clean sheets – and seven in their last 10 games.
The Australian has renewed an excellent partnership with Ian Sharps that the duo enjoyed at Shrewsbury.
It has become a solid foundation on which the Brewers’ promotion push is being built.
Now, though, there is an opportunity – and Rowett is glad he did not loan out one of his other defenders.
“I’ve had one or two phone calls asking about their (Diamond and Holness) availability,” he said. “I was reluctant to let either of them go out, even though they’re desperate to play games.
“I think that looks like being a very good decision.”
The Brewers travel to Championship new-boys Bournemouth tomorrow for the third round of the FA Cup, kick-off 3pm, with the manager plotting another good performance against higher level opposition.
Albion beat League One Sheffield United 2-1 in the League Cup this season before going out on penalties to Premier League strugglers Fulham following a 2-2 draw.
These are just the latest in a series of impressive showings in cup competitions.
“Whenever we’ve played against better sides in higher divisions, their passing style has made it difficult for us,” said Rowett. “When we’ve played our natural game, we’ve struggled.
“We put quite a different side out against Sheffield United and played in a different way.
“We tried it against Fulham, too.
“It may be useful to adjust our style against Bournemouth and we’ve got one or two who are struggling anyway.
“But whatever side we put out, we’ll come up with something that will trouble them.
“We’ve played Eddie Howe sides before when we played Burnley and he knows he won’t be in for an easy game.”
Damien McCrory (hamstring), Dean Lyness (hip) and Robbie Weir (knock) will all be assessed going into the game.
Chris Hussey could return to left-back, a position where he made his name at AFC Wimbledon and Coventry City.
“Chris has got a lot of experience of playing there,” said Rowett. “He’s moved forward to the wing, but has played at left-back a lot.”