Stepping On

TWO Argyle players made a big step forward on their road to recovery from injuries in the Greens’ 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient.

Defender-turned-midfielder Carl McHugh returned to the starting line-up in their midweek game against the O’s, shaking off a hamstring injury enough to reprise his role as a key player for Derek Adams’ side. 

“It was a very good performance from Carl tonight,” said the boss. “I thought he was excellent in the middle of the park. He won a lot of headers and dealt well with the threat they have going forward.” 

On the substitute’s bench, meanwhile, Deane Smalley found his name on a team sheet for the first time in well over a year, as his return to full fitness from a cruciate ligament injury edges ever nearer. 

“It gives him a wee bit of confidence,” said Derek. “He’s been out for a long time, and I just wanted to try and give him a lift from that point of view. 

“He’s still got a number of reserve games to go, but we’re obviously short on bodies, and it gives him that opportunity.” 

Deane’s appearance on the bench confirms his departure from an Argyle injury list that includes the likes of Reuben Reid, Peter Hartley, Hiram Boateng and Luke McCormick. Oscar Threlkeld may also join that list after coming off in the first half against Orient. 

“It was a nasty challenge, so he’s got a leg injury,” said Adams. “We’ll just have to assess that before Saturday.”