ROVERS skipper Rob Jones will defy a painful hand injury to lead the side in tonight’s testing League One clash against leaders Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.
The in-form centre-back damaged tendons in a thumb after falling awkwardly in the second half of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford.
He had expected to be a doubt but he trained yesterday with his thumb strapped up and will play tonight.
With Shelton Martis likely to miss several games after suffering a groin injury in the second half of the Brentford game, Tommy Spurr is likely to play alongside Jones at the heart of the defence.
“It’s a shame for Shelton; he just can’t stay fit,” said manager Dean Saunders.
“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into trying to keep him fit but he doesn’t seem to be able to string a run of games together.
Saunders is hoping that teenage full-back James Husband, who trained yesterday after missing the Brentford game, will be fit enough to cover for Spurr at left-back.
If either Husband or right-back Paul Quinn, who played on Saturday despite not having trained all week, are ruled out, Saunders could turn to former Reading defender Andy Griffin.
The player, who can fill in either side of the back-four, was released by Reading at the end of last season after making just nine appearances for the promoted club last season.
The 33 year-old, whose previous clubs include Stoke City, Newcastle United and Derby County, trained with the club yesterday.
“We’ve signed him on a non-contract basis because obviously we are a bit short of defenders,” said Saunders.
“Obviously he’s not 100 per cent fit because he hasn’t played for months but physically he looks okay so we will just have to wait and see how fit he is.
“Ideally I’d like to take a look at him for a week before I make my mind up but I’ve registered him so he is able to play.
“Rather than get a young lad in on loan and then have to fit him into the way we play, I’ve brought Andy in because I’m sure that he will be able to slot straight in because he has heard it all before.”