AFTER watching his reshuffled Argyle side lose 3-0 to Grimsby Town, manager Derek Adams admitted it is “hard to take” to once again be dealing with injuries to key players.
A Danny Collins header and an Omar Bogle brace punished the Pilgrims at Home Park, ending their 14-game unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two. An under-par showing from the Greens may well have been caused by the absence of regular starters Nauris Bulvitis and Jimmy Spencer - the latter suffering a serious ankle injury in training this week.
“As he was waiting to have a shot, he was just on his own and his weight went on one leg,” said Adams, explaining Spencer’s injury. “He just turned and it snapped.
"He’s going to be a minimum of three months, I believe. It’s a long time. We’ve also got the long-term ones like Gary Sawyer and Ryan Brunt, so it’s not helping our cause any.
“Him (Spencer) and [Paul-Arnold] Garita have played in that position this season. They’ve held up the ball in and performed well for us. It’s a huge blow. Any player we have in the squad that is injured is disappointing."
Options in midfield are also a little more limited than usual, as David Ijaha begins his recovery from a muscle strain, and Oscar Threlkeld continues to work his way back to full fitness.
“Threlkeld was on the bench and he’s progressing all the time,” said Adams. “Ijaha will be out for a shorter period of time, we’re hoping.
“It only happened at the end of the week, so we’ll just find out what the assessment is. He’s hurt his stomach muscles into his groin, so we’re just assessing that at this moment in time.
“It’s hard to take as a manager. You feel that you’re getting somewhere and then something happens. It’s like a roadblock; it’s very difficult to overcome these things and it’s hard to take.”
While a couple more names are etched onto the injury list, one can mercifully be crossed off. The aforementioned Garita, out since the victory over Exeter City with a hamstring injury, started in place of Spencer against the Mariners.
“I’m delighted that he’s back and in and around the squad,” said Derek. “He’s a big player for us, and he was able to get some game time today.
“It’s not easy for him. He started off very well and then obviously petered out a wee bit towards the end, but that was always going to be the case.”